Elon Musk plans to cut about 3,700 jobs at Twitter, or about half of the social media company’s workforce, in an effort to cut costs following a $44 billion acquisition, according to people familiar with the matter.
Twitter’s new owner aims to notify affected employees on Friday, who requested anonymity about the non-public plans. Musk wants to reverse the company’s current work-from-anywhere policy, asking remaining employees to report to offices — with some exceptions possible, the people said.
Musk and a team of advisers on Twitter, based in San Francisco, are weighing several scenarios for job cuts and other policy changes, saying the terms of the downsizing could still change. In one scenario under consideration, laid-off workers would be paid 60 days worth of severance pay, the two said.
A spokesperson for Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk is under pressure to find ways to cut costs in a business he says is overpaid. The billionaire agreed to pay $54.20 a share in April, just as markets tumbled. He then spent months trying to get out of the transaction, alleging the company misled him about the prevalence of fake accounts. Twitter sued to force Musk to honor his contract, and in recent weeks, Musk resigned himself to completing the deal on agreed terms. The Take-Private deal closed on Thursday.
Twitter employees have been bracing for layoffs since Musk took over and promptly fired most of the top management team, including CEO Barak Agarwal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and senior legal staffers Vijaya Gade and Sean Edgett. In the following days, other departures included chief marketing officer Leslie Berland, chief customer officer Sarah Personet and Jean-Philippe Mahieu, who was vice president of global customer solutions.
Musk anointed himself “Chief Twit” in his biography on the social network. Bloomberg previously announced that he would take on the role of interim CEO himself. He dissolved the company’s board and became the sole director, later saying it was “temporary”.
Over the weekend, some employees with director and vice president jobs were cut, people familiar with the matter said. Other leaders were asked to make a list of employees in their ranks, the people said.
Senior staff at product teams have been asked to target a 50% headcount reduction, a person familiar with the matter said this week. Engineers and director-level employees from Tesla Inc., the carmaker run by Musk, reviewed the lists, the person said. The layoff lists were drawn and ranked based on individuals’ contributions to Twitter’s code during their time at the company, the people said. Evaluated by Tesla employees and Twitter managers.
Concerns about steep workforce cuts began swirling before Musk made the purchase, when potential investors were told he would eliminate 75% of the workforce from 7,500 by the end of 2021. Musk later denied the cuts. It will be so deep.
In recent weeks, Musk has begun hinting at his employees’ priorities, saying he wants to focus on the core product. “Software engineering, server operations & design will dominate,” he tweeted in early October.
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