Twitter employees took to the social media site they fear they will be laid off from Thursday night after documents emerged showing that Elon Musk plans to cut the workforce by 75 percent.
Corporate documents obtained by the Washington Post reveal that the billionaire told prospective investors in his $44 billion deal to buy the social media giant that he plans to get rid of three-quarters of its 7,500 workers.
That would leave the company with just a skeleton crew of just over 2,000 employees, which experts say would make it difficult for the social media company to tamp down on what it deems to be ‘misinformation.’
Now, a number of employees are expressing their fears they may be one of the more than 5,000 workers laid off from the company when Musk, 51, takes over.
Gene Ross, a staff designer for the social media giant, took to the site Thursday night to ask if anyone is ‘looking for a below average generalist,’ while Patrick Czapla, a product manager, asked if they will ‘all go off and start New Twitter together.’
Parker Lyons, a senior financial analyst at Twitter, also tweeted a series of memes upon hearing the news, including a tweet reading, ‘When you realize you are the 75%’ with a clip of Magic Johnson shaking his head and saying ‘I’m not gonna be here.’
He also tweeted a picture of NBA star Russell Westbrook earning 136 points, 112 rebounds and 118 assists in a single game, captioned: ‘The remaining 1,900 employees.’
Twitter employees took to the very platform they fear they will be laid off from Thursday night to express their fears after documents emerged showing Elon Musk plans to cut 75 percent of the workforce
Matt Walker, a product designer for Twitter, meanwhile, went of on Musk and former CEO Jack Dorsey in a series of tweets Thursday night, writing: ‘Every decision Jack has made has gotten us to this point.’
He also tweeted that the common thread between the news of MailChimp’s CEO writing in an email that pronouns do ‘more harm than good’ and Musk’s planned layoffs is ‘billionaires are a**holes.’
And in his final tweet, Walker wrote that he was ‘doom scrolling on the very source of the doom.’
A finance advisor for the company, meanwhile, asked if anyone cared about her while Steph Jeong, a designer, simply tweeted: ‘Sigh.’
Matt Walker, a product designer for Twitter, meanwhile, went of on Musk and former CEO Jack Dorsey in a series of tweets Thursday night while Steph Jeong, a designer, simply tweeted: ‘Sigh’
Musk’s plans would cut far more jobs than Twitter’s current management had been planning to lose, the effects of which would be massive.
But it would provide Twitter’s leadership with a way to save face and avoid announcing layoffs to one-quarter of the workforce they were already planning to reduce costs.
The company spent a whopping $1.5 billion last year on personnel, and had wanted to reduce that amount by some $800 million.
Management also planned to make major cuts to its infrastructure, getting rid of data centers that keep the site functioning for more than 200 million users a day.
Twitter executives, though, have denied any layoffs, with General Counsel Sean Edgett telling employees on Thursday to expect ‘tons of public rumors and speculations’ as the closing of the deal nears.
‘Since the merger agreement has been in place, there have been no plans for companywide layoffs,’ he said, according to Bloomberg.
The reported cuts come as Twitter continues to advertise 266 jobs on LinkedIn, and the Tesla CEO’s lawyers are ironing out the paperwork to complete the buyout by October 28.
He has since said he has paid too much for the faltering company.
Corporate documents reveal that Elon Musk told prospective investors in his $44 billion deal to buy the social media giant that he plans to get rid of three-quarters of its 7,500 workers
The corporation had already been planning to layoff a quarter of its employees and make cuts to its infrastructure
Experts say users would immediately feel the effect of the massive job cuts Musk is proposing.
Edwin Chen, a data scientist formerly in charge of Twitter’s spam and health metrics who is now CEO of content moderation start-up Surge AI, said that while he believed Twitter was overstaffed, the cuts Musk proposed were ‘unimaginable.’
He said they would put Twitter’s users at risk of hacks and even exposure to offensive materials like child pornography.
‘It would be a cascading effect where you’d have service going down and the people remaining not having the institutional knowledge to get them back up, and being completely demoralized and wanting to leave themselves,’ Chen told the Post.
But Nell Minow, a corporate governance expert, said the Tesla CEO was likely just shopping ambitious plans to potential investors — and will have trouble following through with the proposals.
‘He’s got to be able to show if he makes those cuts, what happens next?’ she asked, rhetorically. ‘What’s he gonna replace it with, AI?’
Executives at the company had already been planning to cut a quarter of its workforce after it spent a whopping $1.5 billion on personnel last year. Twitter employees are seen here in March
Musk has suggested in the past he planned to layoff employees as part of his planned changes to the social media giant. The Tesla CEO is pictured here in 2015
Documents obtained by the Washington Post, though, suggest executives were already planning to enact layoffs at the company after its exorbitant personnel costs last year.
It also spent hundreds of millions of dollars in contracting firms that pay people to review reports of hate speech, child pornography and other rule-breaking content.
But Musk expanded on the idea of layoffs, telling employees in June he didn’t see a reason why low-performing workers should remain on the payroll.
He has also made clear he plans to loosen content moderation standards — which he claims are infringing on free speech — and restore former President Donald Trump’s account as soon as he takes ownership of the company.
The Tesla CEO even posted a meme on Tuesday of himself, Kanye West and Trump each holding a sword for a social media company. It has since been deleted.
Musk posted a meme on Tuesday of himself, Kanye West and Trump each holding a sword for the social media company. It has since been deleted.
But the new corporate documents, based on conversations with executives over the past few months, shed light on exactly how Musk plans to transform Twitter and make it more profitable.
To help fix these problems, the Post reports, Musk has told associates he thinks that dramatically reducing the number of employees is the first step to executing a turnaround strategy.
He could then bring in more effective workers and expand new services he believes can bring in more revenue, like a subscription business — though employees told the Post they do not believe subscriptions would be profitable and may instead harm its business model.
The company is also planning to institute a performance review system called stack raking, which requires managers to grade employees on a numerical curve so that a set percentage of workers will always be marked as low performers.
Employees have protested the move, but Twitter executives say it is a common practice among tech companies.
Twitter was trading at $52.44 on Thursday, up more than 11 percent over the month, but still nearly 13 percent lower than what it was trading at last year
Still, Musk would face an uphill battle to save the struggling company, despite promising investors he plans to double revenue in three years and would triple the number of daily users that could view ads during that time.
He has offered little information about how he would accomplish these goals, and has admitted to investors that he paid too much for the company.
Musk’s $54.20 per share offer was around a third higher than Twitter’s price at the time and by Thursday, Twitter was trading at $52.44, up more than 11 percent over the month, but still nearly 13 percent lower than what it was trading at last year.
The company has never reached the profit margins of other social media sites like Meta or Snap, the Post reports.
And following Musk’s takeover bid, droves of employees left, with one telling the New York Post that the workers have lost respect for top executives like CEO Parag Agrawal over his dealings with the Tesla CEO.
At the same time, the company is not hiring as many new personnel and has stalled projects as its stock prices plummeted.
Twitter has since been found to falsify its monetizable daily active users, the number of users who can see ads on the site.
Executives haves said that its MDAU is 237.8 million, up nearly 17 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
But document that emerged in Twitter’s court battle with Musk point to the company having far fewer users, with Musk’s side claiming that fewer than 16 million users are able to see the vast majority of ads.
And the time they are spending on the site fell 10 percent over the course of 2021, recovering only slightly in 2022.