UPDATE 10/27: Elon Musk now says he does not intend to layoff 75% of the Twitter staff if he takes over, as reported by Bloomberg. Don’t bother clicking on the source because they were asking me to register for it and there’s no point in signing up when you already know the story 🙂
Elon Musk, one of the World’s richest men, gestured at plans for layoffs if he were to buy Twitter, but now, those cuts could go even deeper than previously imagined. Musk plans to purge 75% of Twitter’s workforce, or around 5,600 employees.
WATCH the discussion:
Twitter would be forced to operate with a sliver of its current staff if Musk’s vision for a much leaner platform comes to fruition. Twitter was always going to trim its workforce, between broader economic factors and ongoing criticisms that Twitter has failed to deliver on its promise (at least as far as investors are concerned). But most people did not have in mind that Musk is willing to cut the staff down by three quarters, reported Tech Crunch.
Twitter already planned to cut around a quarter of its workforce, the Post noted, but leaving a quarter of the workforce is a different situation altogether. There’s often a gulf between Musk’s words and the reality of the situation, but he did reportedly describe his aggressive plan over the past few months. Musk might want to lay off 75% of Twitter’s workforce but it’s also conceivable that Twitter wouldn’t even be able to operate if cut to the bone. Dollar-signs-for-eyes investors CEOs wouldn’t want to make more money with fewer pesky salaries to pay!
The company faces some serious issues, but Musk clearly lacks a fundamental understanding, as some of which could only be resolved by more investment in key areas. Leaning of the SpaceX and Tesla CEO on Twitter’s former head of security turned whistleblower Peiter Zatko when it suited him, but some of the dire security and safety needs that Zatko brought up certainly wouldn’t be resolved by gutting the whole company.
Another area that benefits from having more humans involved – not just a thrifty algorithm at the wheel – are the content moderation issues the company grapples with, which Musk also barely has a grasp of. If Musk has his way, almost certainly, and also sadly, trust and safety would likely face deep cuts. It is also believed by some that the 75% number is just another trick he pulled out of his hat to impress whoever he was talking to, maybe bankers he was courting for the acquisition or the various slavering rich men he texts with.
There is definitely hope that this turns out to be the case, for the sake of Twitter’s already very stressed current workforce. The deal is now back on track after months of Musk sowing chaos and is expected to close by October 28, but it really seems like so many things are up in the air right now.