The billionaire is said to be planning to radically restructure the social media giant
Elon Musk could cut Twitter’s workforce by three-quarters if he takes ownership of the social media company, The Washington Post reported Thursday, citing interviews and documents he obtained.
Staff reductions at Twitter were expected regardless of a sale of the company. Twitter’s current management reportedly plans to cut the company’s payroll by about $800 million by the end of 2023, a number that would equate to a reduction of about 25% in the workforce. Musk’s intentions, however, would be far more extreme than Twitter anticipated.
According to the Post, Musk told potential investors in his deal to buy the company that he planned to lay off nearly 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, “Reduce the company to a skeleton staff of just over 2,000 people.”
“A 75% headcount reduction would indicate, at least from the outset, stronger free cash flow and profitability, which would be attractive to investors seeking to participate in the deal,” Wedbush Securities financial analyst Dan Ives told AP on Friday, adding that “you can’t make your way to growth.”
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It is feared that such a massive layoff program could have a major impact on the company’s ability to control harmful content and prevent data breaches, and would harm the more than 200 million users of Twitter who log in every day.
Edwin Chen, formerly head of spam and health metrics at Twitter and now CEO of content moderation platform Surge AI, told the outlet that such layoffs would be “immediately felt by millions of users” and threaten to expose them to hacks and offensive material.
Elon Musk initially offered $44 billion for the struggling company in April but later backed out of the deal, saying the number of “spam bot” accounts on the platform had been misrepresented. After months of legal battles, Twitter and Musk are expected to close the deal by October 28.
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