Elon Musk informed prospective investors that he expects to lay off over 75% of Twitter’s workforce as part of his bid to acquire the social media business. According to the Washington Post.
According to the article, which cites interviews and papers, job layoffs are planned in the coming months regardless of who runs the company.
The news of Musk’s aspirations, should he ever take over the company, comes at a tough time for Twitter. The company revealed in July that it has already “seriously curtailed hiring” amid a broader economic slowdown in the tech industry, where numerous companies have announced recent hiring freezes and layoffs.
On Thursday night, Bloomberg reported that an internal email issued by Twitter stated that there were “no plans for any company-wide layoffs.”
Meanwhile, the acquisition issue with Musk has lowered morale, causing staff to leave in droves. Twitter has been locked in a court battle with Musk for months after Musk attempted to walk away from the $44 billion takeover offer before reversing course earlier this month and stating he would go ahead with it after all.
“Twitter appears to be rudderless and on a bit of a downhill spiral, which Musk has further worsened,” said Carl Tobias, Williams chair in law at the University of Richmond. “It appears that it will be difficult sailing for a while.”
Human resources workers at the social network business told employees that no mass layoffs were planned, but papers revealed that substantial preparations to force out staff and reduce infrastructure costs were already in place before Musk sought to buy the company, according to the Washington Post.
However, although Twitter’s present management expected to lay off 25% of its workforce by the end of next year, the new report said Musk intends to reduce Twitter’s 7,500 employees to a “skeleton staff” of roughly 2,000 individuals.
The layoffs will likely have an impact on Twitter’s daily operations, particularly it’s capacity to regulate dangerous content and tackle security threats, according to Tobias. This comes after a damning whistleblower report in September accused Twitter of failing on both counts, citing “egregious” flaws within the firm.
According to the Washington Post, Twitter has already planned to decrease financing to infrastructure sites, including its data centers. Musk has stated that as the owner of Twitter, he would relax content control policies and potentially convert the firm to a subscription-based economic model. Twitter did not immediately respond to a Guardian request for comment.
The current feud between Musk and Twitter began in May when the businessman attempted to back out of an agreement to buy the firm, claiming that Twitter undervalued the number of the bot and spam accounts on its network. Twitter accused him of “inventing” an excuse to back out.
The acrimonious conflict was about to go to court when Musk made a sudden U-turn in early October, stating he would proceed with the sale on its original conditions. The billionaire is currently gathering money to complete the sale before a judge-mandated deadline next Friday.
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