Elon Musk, a week after his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, is preparing to massively cut the company’s workforce to cut costs, according to a new report.
The mega-billionaire plans to lay off 3,700 Twitter employees, or about half of its current workforce of around 7,500, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.
Twitter officials did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the Bloomberg report, Musk plans to update Twitter staff on Friday, November 4th about the big layoffs. He will also announce the end of the company’s permanent work-from-home policy, introduced two years ago at the start of the COVID pandemic, and will require employees to come to Twitter’s offices, with some exceptions, according to the report.
Last week, ahead of the deal’s official closing on Oct. 27, Musk told Twitter staff that he had no plans to lay off 75% of the company’s workforce, Bloomberg previously reported. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Musk previously told potential investors in the Twitter deal that he plans to lay off nearly three-quarters of Twitter’s workforce, or about 5,500 employees.
The threat of layoffs at Twitter comes as no surprise. In a Q&A with company employees on June 16, Musk said there needs to be a “rationalization of headcount,” saying, “Anyone making a significant contribution shouldn’t have to worry.”
Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Twitter would be downsizing ahead of a Nov. 1 date when employees were to receive stock grants as part of their pay by firing employees before that date, “Mr. Musk can avoid paying the grants.” On Sunday, Musk said no the report.
The job cuts would continue Twitter’s rapid transformation under Musk after he privatized his favorite social network — a transaction that involved $13 billion in debt financing and pressured the company to increase revenue and expenses to lower. Upon closing the deal, the tech mogul immediately fired senior executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, and Musk took over as CEO and dissolved the company’s board of directors.
On Tuesday, Musk announced that the price of a Twitter Blue subscription will increase from $4.99 to $8 per month — and the only way to achieve verification on the platform, among other new benefits will be. “Twitter’s current Lords & Peasants system, who has a blue tick or not is bullshit,” he tweeted.
On Wednesday, Musk spent time rubbing shoulders with critics of — and trolling — the $8 monthly fee. This included an exchange with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who wrote: “Lmao on a billionaire who is seriously trying to sell people the idea that ‘free speech’ is actually an $8/month subscription plan The right-wing Musk replied, “Your feedback is appreciated, pay $8 now” (and he pinned the tweet to his profile). Musk also tweeted an image of an AOC campaign sweatshirt with the price tag of $58 circled in red and a thoughtful emoji. Ocasio-Cortez later Musk hit back, and wrote: “Apparently one man’s business plan for a heavily leveraged $44 billion purchase is to go around asking people one by one for $8. Keep that in mind the next time you question yourself or your qualifications.”
Musk also wants to relax Twitter’s content moderation policies and reverse his lifetime bans on individual users, though he has promised advertisers that Twitter will not “become a hell for everyone.” Twitter will form a content moderation council with “very diverse viewpoints,” according to Musk, and he said “no major content decisions or account restorations will take place before that council meets.” On Tuesday, Musk tweeted that Twitter will not rehire anyone who has been permanently banned for violating the Twitter Rules — following Donald Trump’s January 6 support of the attackers — “until we have a clear process for doing so, which will be at least a few more weeks.” ”
Meanwhile, Musk has changed his Twitter bio to “Twitter Complaints Line Operator” and seems to enjoy his complete control over the company.
“Twitter is just the most interesting place on the internet,” he says tweeted Wednesday. “That’s why you’re reading this tweet right now.”