One week after purchasing Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk is reportedly preparing to drastically reduce the company’s personnel in order to reduce costs.
According to Bloomberg on Wednesday, which cited unnamed sources, the multi-billionaire intends to fire 3,700 Twitter employees, or roughly half of the company’s current employment of about 7,500.
An inquiry for comment was not answered by Twitter representatives.
According to the Bloomberg article, Musk intends to notify Twitter employees of the significant layoffs on Friday, Nov. 4. He will also reportedly declare the end of the business’ ongoing work-from-home policy, which was put in place two years ago at the onset of the COVID outbreak, and mandate that workers visit Twitter’s offices, with certain exclusions.
According to Bloomberg, Musk informed Twitter staff last week that he did not intend to let off 75% of the company’s employees before the deal’s official close on October 27. Earlier this month, the Washington Post revealed that Musk had previously told potential Twitter investors that he intended to fire nearly 5,500 employees, or roughly three-fourths of the company’s workforce.
It’s not shocking that Twitter will be laying off employees. Musk stated that there needed to be a “rationalization of headcount” in a June 16 Q&A with business employees. He added that “anyone who is a substantial contributor should have nothing to worry about.”
Over the weekend, the New York Times had reported Twitter job cuts would take place before a Nov. 1 date when employees were scheduled to receive stock grants as part of their compensation and that by laying off staffers before that date, “Mr. Musk may avoid paying the grants.” On Sunday, Musk denied the report.
After taking his preferred social network private with a $13 billion debt financing deal, which put pressure on the business to increase income and decrease costs, Musk quickly transformed Twitter, and the job losses would be the next step in that change. After the transaction was finalized, the tech tycoon sacked senior executives right away, including the CEO Parag Agrawal. Musk then took over as CEO and disbanded the board of directors.
The price of a Twitter Blue subscription will rise from $4.99 to $8 per month, according to an announcement made by Elon Musk on Tuesday. This subscription will be the only method to get verified on the network and will also come with new benefits. He called Twitter’s lords & peasants system, which determines who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark, “bullshit.”
Musk spent time on Wednesday teasing and arguing with opponents of the $8 monthly fee. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) participated in one of those exchanges and said, “Lmao at a billionaire earnestly attempting to sell people on the idea that ‘free expression’ is actually a $8/mo subscription plan,” among other things. The conservative Musk responded, “Thank you for your comments; please proceed to pay $8.” (and he pinned the tweet to his profile). Along with a thinking-face emoji, Musk also tweeted a picture of an AOC campaign sweatshirt with the $58 price underlined in red. Later, in a response to Musk, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “One guy’s business model for a $44 billion over-leveraged acquisition is reportedly to run around and beg people individually for $8. The next time you doubt your abilities or qualifications, keep that in mind.
Musk has assured advertisers that Twitter won’t turn into “a free-for-all hellscape,” but he also wants to relax content control guidelines and lift lifetime user bans. According to Musk, Twitter would establish a content-moderation council with “widely diverse opinions,” and “no major content judgments or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” he added. As Donald Trump continued to defend the attackers on January 6, Musk wrote on Tuesday that Twitter would not let anyone who had been permanently banned for breaking its rules to reapply “until we have a clear mechanism for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks.”
Meanwhile, Musk has changed his Twitter bio to read “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator” and appears to be reveling in his complete control of the company.
“Twitter is simply the most interesting place on the internet,” he tweeted Wednesday. “That’s why you’re reading this tweet right now.”