Faced with fresh uncertainty amid a growing exodus of top management, Twitter is reporting that mass layoffs and major changes to the platform could come within days.
The company’s advertising and marketing chiefs recently announced their departures, as did the chief people and diversity officer, general manager of core technologies, product director and vice president of global sales. Last week, shortly after taking over the company, Elon Musk fired CEO, Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer, Ned Segal, and legal affairs and policy chief, Vijaya Gadde.
Sarah Personette, the chief customer officer and advertising executive, who said she was looking forward to it Collaboration with Musktweeted on Tuesday that she had resigned, adding to advertisers’ uncertainty about how the social media company will transform under its new owner.
Chief People and Diversity Officer Dalana Brand announced in a LinkedIn post Tuesday that she also resigned last week. Core Technologies general manager Nick Caldwell confirmed his departure on Twitter, changing his profile bio to “former Twitter executive” by Monday night.
Chief marketing officer Leslie Berland, Twitter’s head of product Jay Sullivan and its vice president of global sales Jean-Philippe Maheu have also left, a person with knowledge of the matter told Portal. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were quitting or being asked to leave.
Even before Musk officially took over, reports of job cuts were circulating. Bloomberg’s latest report said on Wednesday that Twitter’s new billionaire owner would cut about 3,700 jobs – equivalent to half of Twitter’s workforce – to cut costs and also urge workers to return to the office. The outlet further reported that Musk plans to start charging for Twitter “blue tick” verification starting next week.
Several employees told Portal that they continue to receive little information about the company’s future. Twitter canceled a check-in call last week, as well as an all-employee meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Musk’s team plans to meet with advertisers in New York next week, as the company’s increasingly nervous clients are raising the alarm about potentially harmful content appearing alongside their ads.
Hateful content has skyrocketed since Musk took over. According to the Network Contagion Research Institute, which identifies “cybersocial threats,” use of the N-word on Twitter has increased by almost 500%.
A coalition of more than 40 advocacy groups, including the NAACP and Free Press, on Tuesday sent an open letter to Twitter’s top 20 advertisers, urging them to withdraw their ads if Musk approves of moderating content on the platform.
Mediabrands, a unit of ads holding company IPG, has advised its customers to suspend advertising on Twitter for the next week until the company provides more details about its plans to protect trust and safety on the platform, according to a source close to Portal The reason. IPG works with major advertisers such as Coca-Cola.
Musk has tried to reassure advertisers. “Twitter’s commitment to brand safety remains unchanged,” he tweeted Monday.
He previously said he would reverse the ban on Twitter against Donald Trump, who was kicked out over fears he could incite further violence following last year’s US Capitol riot. But this week, Musk indicated that no suspended accounts would be recovered until at least after the US Midterms.