Twitter to make job cuts after Elon Musk takeover

2 months ago 24

A cyclist passes by the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California.Image source, Getty Images

By Chris Vallance & Annabelle Liang

BBC News

Twitter says it will inform its staff on Friday about whether they will be laid off following the firm's takeover by Elon Musk.

In an internal email, the social media company said the cuts are "an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path".

The firm added that its offices would be temporarily closed and badge access would be suspended.

The multi-billionaire will be Twitter's chief executive after buying the firm last week in a $44bn (£39.3bn) deal.

"We will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday," Twitter said in the email.

It added that office access would be limited "to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data".

Staff will be told if they are affected by 09:00 Pacific time (16:00 GMT) on Friday, according to the email.

Reports in US media had previously suggested that Mr Musk was looking to cut 3,700 jobs, about half of Twitter's workforce.

Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, suggested some senior staff were asked to make lists of employees to be cut on their teams.

Cryptocurrency platform Binance invested in Twitter as part of Mr Musk's takeover. Earlier, Changpeng Zhao, its chief executive, said that "a slimmer workforce would make more sense".

Mr Zhao, who was speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, also criticised the platform for having been slow to roll out new features, given its level of staffing.

Pay to verify

The cost-cutting follows criticism of Twitter's efforts to raise money by proposing to charge $8 (£7) a month for a "verified" blue check-mark.

In addition to the verification badge, those who pay could have their tweets promoted more widely and see fewer adverts.

Mr Musk has tweeted of his plan: "We need to pay the bills somehow."

Twitter has not made a profit in several years and its number of users has remained fairly static at about 300 million a month.

Many experts suggest that Mr Musk, the world's richest man, overpaid for the company, given current economic conditions and the depressed values of many tech stocks.

But Brandon Borrman, Twitter's former head of global communications, in a BBC interview, questioned how Twitter could justify asking people to pay in order to remain on an "equal playing field" with other users.

Image source, Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images

Image caption,

Mr Musk has high expectations of employees

It is not clear how the staff cuts will affect the platform's operations. US reports already speak of long hours spent by some staff to meet Mr Musk's demands in the aftermath of the takeover.

In May, Mr Musk said his work ethic expectations would be "extreme", but less than he demanded of himself.

Also, work ethic expectations would be extreme, but much less than I demand of myself

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2022

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Board axed

As part of the takeover agreement, nine members of Twitter's board departed the company, leaving self-styled "Chief Twit" Mr Musk as the sole director.

The move was seen as cementing Mr Musk's control over the company.

Among those leaving were chairman Bret Taylor and chief executive Parag Agrawal.

Other senior figures have also posted about leaving, or are reported to have left, including chief financial officer Ned Segal.

Thursday concluded 5 years @twitter. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such an incredible group of people building the world’s town square for all of our stakeholders. The work isn’t complete, but we made meaningful progress.

— Ned Segal (@nedsegal) October 28, 2022

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

As senior figures left, US media reported that a number of Mr Musk's allies joined Twitter.

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