Twitter could face massive job cuts once Elon Musk takes over.
According to interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Post, Musk has informed potential investors in the $44 billion acquisition that he will eliminate roughly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500-employee workforce. The acquisition will supposedly close by Oct. 28.
Twitter had already planned significant cuts to its workforce and infrastructure by the end of 2023, including a reported $800 million in payroll reductions. “Musk’s $44 billion bid, though hostile, is a golden ticket for the struggling company — potentially helping its leadership avoid painful announcements that would have demoralized the staff and possibly crippledthe service’s ability to combat misinformation, hate speech and spam,” the Post added. (It’s worth noting the newspaper is owned by Jeff Bezos, who’s made no secret of his intense rivalry with Musk.)
Twitter’s brain drain actually began months ago, with numerous employees departing the company rather than endure the drama over Musk’s acquisition. In September, Business Insider estimated that Twitter has suffered a net loss of nine percent of its staff. “Attrition has been so high that Twitter cited it in court proceedings as one of the damaging effects of Musk’s attempt to back out of the deal,” the publication noted at the time. “It increased even more sharply since early August, when many workers’ restricted stock units fully vested, meaning they could cash out their shares.”
Once Musk takes over Twitter, he can’t just cut his way to growth—he’ll need smart, talented people to turn the company around. Musk has hinted at plans to turn Twitter into a “super app” that offers users a combination of services in addition to social media. While “super apps” such as WeChat are hugely popular in Asia, it’s an open question whether they’d succeed in the same way with a U.S. audience. If Musk wants top talent, he’ll need to be prepared to pay for it.