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Why Elon Musk wants to fire most of Twitter

  • Elon Musk wants to fire 75 percent of Twitter’s staff, according to a new report.
  • The job cuts form part of plans to make the social media platform profitable after it suffered a $270 million loss in Q2 2022.
  • Companies across the tech industry are cutting back on jobs as the global situation sours.

The tech tycoon behind Tesla and Space X, Elon Musk, allegedly told prospective investors that he is planning to fire most of Twitter’s existing staff if and when he eventually buys the company, according to a new report from The Washington Post.

Detailed in internal documents and communications, Musk’s current plan is to get rid of 75 percent of Twitter employees, firing around 5 500 people, after the deal is finalised before the end of October.

The job cuts come as part of Musk’s “turnaround strategy” for the publicly traded social media company, which reported a $270 million loss in Q2 2022.

Further ideas to turn Twitter’s tides are for the introduction of new “profitable and innovative services” such as a subscription-based model for exclusive content, the hiring of more effective workers and, of course, returning the company to private status.

This would leave Twitter running with a staff of 2 200 individuals to support the platform’s massive 237.8 million user base. A move that data scientist and former overseer of Twitter’s spam and health metrics Edwin Chen believes will expose millions to hacks and offensive materials such as child pornography and graphic violence.

Chen paints a grim picture for the platform if the mass firings take place, adding that the remaining under-experienced (and likely overworked staff) would begin to jump ship themselves, unable to contain the resulting chaos.

The staff was told by Twitter’s top lawyer Sean Edgett on Thursday that nothing is as of yet confirmed regards Musk’s plan. However, if the merger does not take place, the company will probably go through with mass job cuts of its own.

Management at the social media company was reportedly already seeking to cut around a quarter of Twitter’s workforce in efforts to draw back payroll expenses to $800 million. Twitter is also looking to eliminate some expenses in terms of infrastructure, with its data centres currently on the chopping block.

The company, which was started by a team of four, is apparently overstaffed as it is, and job cuts are happening across the industry.

Microsoft recently let go of 1 000 employees as global economic growth slows due to skyrocketing interest rates, high inflation and Europe’s ongoing energy crisis. However, this represents 1 percent of Microsoft’s total worldwide staff.

The Elon Musk-Twitter deal has been one of the most popular ongoing stories in modern technology owing to its raw audaciousness.

Between a highly publicised trial between Musk and Twitter, and Musk’s public proclamations that he will change the platform’s policies, new details about plans to force Twitter to become profitable through scorched earth-style job cuts only add to the story’s allure and will surely feature a chapter or two in the inevitable book covering the saga.

However, it is important to note that real people are involved here. Thousands of them. According to the Washington Post, Twitter employees reacted to the news with anger and made jokes about the ongoing chaos at the company.

The purchase deal is expected to close by next week Friday. If it closes, Musk will immediately be the owner of Twitter and 5 500 people may have to start looking for new jobs.

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