Elon Musk is beginning lay-offs at Twitter’s 7,500-strong workforce, according to a company-wide email, in a dramatic cost-cutting cull that comes a week after the billionaire closed his $44bn buyout of the social media company.
Twitter employees will be notified of their employment status by 9am Pacific time on Friday, according to an email seen by the Financial Times.
“In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” the email stated, which was received by staffers on Thursday.
“We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward.”
The email did not clarify the scale of the headcount reduction. However, Musk has drawn up plans to cut around 3,700 jobs, or half of the workforce, according to two people familiar with the plans, who added that the final figure could change.
In an indication that the cuts had begun, one staffer said many employees lost access to their corporate Slack account and email on Thursday night.
Workers who lost their jobs were told to expect an email in their personal inbox while those who were staying would be notified via their corporate email, according to the Twitter company-wide email.
Twitter itself lit up with employees announcing their departure, with colleagues often responding with a blue heart emoji, in a show of support. “I am officially out,” wrote Irene Font Peradejordi, a Twitter researcher.
I am officially out
It has been the biggest pleasure to be part of the Responsible ML research family at Twitter for the last year and a half 🏽 – more announcements to come.#TwitterLayoffs
– Irene Font Peradejordi 🎈 (@if_peradejordi) November 4, 2022
Ned Miles, the UK lead for audience insights, wrote: “I don’t have anything clever to say, I’m just devastated — personally, and for the magnificent culture and company we built together and is now gone. I love you all. ”
The job losses will cap a chaotic first week for Twitter under Musk’s command, during which the world’s richest man overhauled the management team, asked staffers to work round the clock on new products and publicly brainstormed plans to shake up the business via his own Twitter account .
There has been a turmoil inside Twitter for months after Musk first made his bid to buy the company, before trying to back out of the deal while publicly mocking his staff. After a fierce legal battle, the deal closed on Thursday last week, with Musk paying his original offer of $54.20 a share.
Musk has made no secret of his plans to overhaul Twitter, which has long been criticized for its sluggish pace of product innovation. He has previously stated he could cut jobs and costs to make Twitter “healthy” and last week tweeted: “There seem to be 10 people ‘managing’ for every one person coding.”
The email on Thursday said Twitter’s offices would temporarily close and all badge access would be suspended on Friday “to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data”.
Staffers had responded earlier by flooding the social media company’s water cooler Slack channel, a messaging group meant to be the online version of chatting around the office water cooler, with emojis of a person saluting, according to another staffer.
Ahead of the email, Twitter employees on Blind, a forum for tech employees to post anonymously, shared their disillusionment with Musk’s management style.
One described current working conditions as a “nightmare scenario that won’t let up” adding: “Please lay me off.” Another comment pled for the lay-offs to come quick: “It’s psychological torture at this point.”