Elon Musk plans to eliminate about 3 700 jobs at Twitter — half of the social media company’s workforce — in a bid to drive down costs following his US$44-billion acquisition, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Twitter’s new owner aims to inform affected staffers Friday, said the people, who requested anonymity discussing non-public plans. Musk also intends to reverse the company’s existing work-from-anywhere policy, asking remaining employees to report to offices — though some exceptions could be made, the people said.
Musk and a team of advisers have been weighing a range of scenarios for job cuts 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 will be offered 60 days’ worth of severance pay, two of the people said.
A spokesman for Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk is under pressure to find ways to slash costs of a business for which he says he overpaid. The billionaire agreed to pay $54.20/share in April just as markets tumbled. He then tried for months to get out of the transaction, alleging that the company misled him about the prevalence of fake accounts. Twitter sued to force Musk to make good on his agreement, and in recent weeks Musk caved, resigning himself to closing the deal at the agreed-upon terms. The take-private deal closed on Thursday.
Twitter employees have been bracing for layoffs ever since Musk took over and fired the top executive team, including CEO Parag Agrawal. Over the weekend, a few employees with director and vice president jobs were cut, people familiar with the matter said. Other leaders were asked to make lists of employees on their teams who can be cut, the people said.
Senior personnel on the product teams were asked to target a 50% reduction in headcount, a person familiar with the matter said this week. Engineers and director-level staff from Tesla reviewed the lists, the person said. Layoff lists were drawn up 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. — Ed Ludlow and Kurt Wagner, (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP