SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk plans to lay off most of Twitter’s workforce if and when he becomes the owner of the social media company, according to Thursday report by The Washington Post.
Musk told potential investors about his purchase on Twitter It plans to cut nearly 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employee base, leaving the company with a structural staff, according to the report. The newspaper quoted unnamed documents and sources familiar with the deliberations.
San Francisco-based Twitter and Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
While job cuts were expected regardless of the sale, the size of Musk’s planned cuts are far more extreme than anything Twitter had planned. Musk himself has hinted that some of the company’s employees should be fired in the past, but he didn’t provide a specific number — at least not publicly.
“A 75% staff reduction would signal, at least outside the gates, stronger and free cash flow and profitability, which would be attractive to investors looking to get into the deal,” said Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush. “However, you cannot cut your way to growth.”
Ives added that such a significant reduction in Twitter’s workforce would likely set the company back years.
Already, experts, nonprofits, and even Twitter employees have warned that withdrawing investments in content moderation and data security could harm Twitter and its users. With the big drawdown that Musk might be planning, the platform could quickly become overrun with malicious content and spam — the latter that the Tesla CEO himself said he would talk about if he became an owner of the company.
After his initial $44 billion bid in April to buy Twitter, Musk backed out of the deal, alleging that Twitter had misrepresented the number of fake “spam” accounts on its platform. Twitter has filed a lawsuit, and a Delaware judge has given both sides until October 28 To work out the details. Otherwise, there will be a trial in November.
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