Elon Musk plans to eliminate about 3,700 jobs at Twitter Inc., or half of the social media workforce, in an effort to cut costs following his $44 billion acquisition, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Twitter̵[ads1]7;s new owner aims to inform affected employees on Friday, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss non-public plans. Musk also intends to reverse the company’s existing work-from-anywhere policy, asking remaining employees to report to offices — although some exceptions may be made, the people said.
Musk and a team of advisers have weighed a number of scenarios for layoffs and other policy changes at San Francisco-based Twitter, the people said, adding that the terms of the headcount reduction could still change. In one scenario being considered, laid-off workers would 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 for a business he says he was paying too much for. The billionaire agreed to pay $54.20 a share in April just as markets were falling. He then spent months trying to get out of the transaction, claiming the company misled him about the prevalence of fake accounts. Twitter sued to force Musk to settle his deal, and in recent weeks Musk has backed down and resigned to end the deal on the agreed terms. The take-private deal closed on Thursday.
Twitter employees have been bracing for layoffs ever since Musk took over and immediately ousted much of senior management, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and senior legal staff Vijaya Gadde and Sean Edgett. In the days that followed, other departures included chief marketing officer Leslie Berland, chief customer officer Sarah Personette and Jean-Philippe Maheu, who was vice president of global client solutions.
Musk anointed himself “Chief Twit” in his biography on the social network. Bloomberg previously reported that he himself would take on the role of interim CEO. He also dissolved the company’s board and became sole director, later saying that it is “only temporary.”
Over the weekend, a few employees with director and vice president jobs were cut, people familiar with the matter said. Other managers were asked to create lists of employees on their teams who could be cut, the people said.
Senior staff in the product teams were told to target a 50% reduction in headcount, a person familiar with the matter said this week. Engineers and executive-level employees from Tesla Inc., the automaker also run by Musk, reviewed the lists, the person said. Layoff lists were compiled and ranked based on individuals’ contributions to Twitter’s code during their time at the company, the people said. The assessment was made by both Tesla personnel and Twitter managers.
Concerns about heavy staff cuts began swirling in the run-up to Musk’s acquisition, when potential investors were told he would eliminate 75% of his workforce, which stood at about 7,500 by the end of 2021. Musk later denied the cuts would be that deep.
In recent weeks, Musk has begun hinting at his personnel priorities, saying he wants to focus on the core product. “Software engineering, server operations and design will prevail,” he tweeted in early October.
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