Twitter CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday the social media company is “roughly breaking even”, as most of its advertisers have returned and its aggressive cost-cutting efforts have started bearing fruit after massive layoffs.
Musk, in an interview with BBC broadcast live on Twitter Spaces, said Twitter has about 1 500 employees now, a sharp decline from the “just under 8 000 staff members” it had before he took it over in October. That means more than 80% of Twitter’s employees have left the company since Musk took over.
Twitter has been marked by chaos and uncertainty since the US$44-billion acquisition by Musk, as its layoffs have also included many engineers responsible for fixing and preventing service outages, sources have said.
Last week, Twitter suffered a bug that prevented thousands of users from accessing links, its sixth major outage since the beginning of the year, according to internet watchdog group NetBlocks.
Musk acknowledged some glitches, including recent outages, but said they have not lasted very long.
He says Twitter was in a $3-billion negative cash flow situation and had to take drastic actions, referring to its large-scale layoffs.
“We could be cash-flow positive this quarter if things go well,” he said in the interview that attracted more than three million listeners, adding the company currently has all-time high user numbers.
Twitter has been hit by a massive decline in advertising since his acquisition.
Musk had said that was due to the cyclical nature of ad spending and some of which was “political”. He said on Wednesday most of its advertisers have returned.
The billionaire, who also runs electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, said he has no one in mind to succeed him as Twitter CEO.
Musk has faced scrutiny from Tesla investors about the amount of time he spends running the social media platform and had previously said the end of this year would be “good timing” to find a new Twitter CEO. — Akriti Sharma, (c) 2023 Reuters