Elon Musk plans to cut about 3,700 jobs at Twitter Inc., or half of the social media company’s workforce, in a bid to cut costs following its $44 billion acquisition, according to people familiar with the matter.
Twitter’s new owner aims to notify affected staff members on Friday, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss non-public plans. Musk also intends to reverse the company’s current work-from-anywhere policy, asking remaining employees to report to offices — although some exceptions can be made, the people said.
Musk and a team of advisers have weighed a range of scenarios for job cuts and other policy changes on Twitter, based in San Francisco, the people said, adding that the terms of the downsizing could still change. In one scenario being considered, laid-off workers will be offered 60 days of severance pay, two of the people said.
A Twitter spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk is under pressure to find ways to cut costs at a company he says he overpaid for. The billionaire agreed to pay $54.20 per share in April just as markets fell. He then tried for months to back out of the deal, alleging the company misled him about the prevalence of fake accounts. Twitter sued to force Musk to stick to its deal, and in recent weeks Musk relented, resigning himself to making the deal on the agreed terms. The privatization deal was closed on Thursday.
Twitter employees have been preparing for layoffs since Musk took over and immediately ousted much of the management team, including chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and legal executives Vijaya Gadde and Sean Edgett. In the days that followed, other departures included chief marketing officer Leslie Berland, chief client officer Sarah Personette and Jean-Philippe Maheu, who was vice president of global client solutions.
Musk named himself “Chief Twit” in his social media bio. Bloomberg earlier announced that he would take on the role of interim CEO himself. He also dissolved the company’s board and became sole director, later saying it was “just temporary”.
Over the weekend, a few employees in director and vice president positions were cut, people familiar with the matter said. Other leaders have been asked to draw up lists of employees on their teams who could be fired, the people said.
Senior product team executives have been told to aim for a 50% reduction in headcount, a person familiar with the matter said this week. Engineers and management staff at Tesla Inc., the automaker also led by Musk, reviewed the listings, the person said. Layoff lists were compiled and ranked based on individuals’ contributions to Twitter’s code during their time with the company, the sources said. The assessment was made by both Tesla staff and Twitter officials.
Concerns over deep staff cuts began to swirl as Musk’s takeover approached, when potential investors were told he would cut 75% of the workforce, which stood at around 7,500 at the end of 2021. Musk then denied that the cuts would be that deep.
In recent weeks, Musk has started hinting at his staffing priorities, saying he wants to focus on core product. “Software engineering, operations and server design will rule the roost,” he tweeted in early October.
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