Elon Musk begins mass layoffs for Twitter employees

Suspension

SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk has initiated a mass layoff at Twitter, sharply reducing the company’s workforce of 7,500 and initiating an overhaul of the company.

Company employees were emailed late Thursday to notify employees of the job cut plans, informing them that by 9 a.m. PT Friday, workers will receive an email titled: “Your Turn on Twitter.”

Those who keep their jobs will be notified on their company email. Those who have lost them will be notified via their personal email.

“The team, in an effort to put Twitter on a healthy track, will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” the email read. “We are aware that this will affect a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success going forward.”

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Anyone who did not receive an email by 5 p.m. PT were told to follow up with the company. Offices will be closed on Friday.

The email continued: “We understand that this is an incredibly challenging experience, whether you are affected or not.” “We are grateful for your contributions to Twitter and for your patience as we go through this process.”

This was Musk’s first company-wide contact with his employees.

Team,

In an effort to put Twitter on a healthy track, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday. We are aware that this will affect a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success going forward.

Due to the nature of our distributed workforce and our desire to inform affected individuals as quickly as possible, communications for this process will be via email. By 9 a.m. PT on Friday, November 4, everyone will receive an individual email with the subject line: Your Twitter turn. Please check your email, including your spam folder.

If your job is not affected, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email.

If your job is affected, you will receive a notification of next steps via your personal email.

If you have not received an email from @twitter-hr by 5pm PST on Friday, November 4th, please email [email protected]

To help ensure the safety of every employee as well as our Twitter systems and customer data, our offices will be temporarily closed and access to all badges will be suspended. If you are in an office or on your way to an office, please go home.

We understand that this is a very difficult experience to go through, whether you are affected or not. Thank you for continuing to adhere to Twitter’s policies that prevent you from discussing confidential company information on social media, the press, or anywhere else.

We are grateful for your contributions to Twitter and for your patience as we go through this process.

Thank you.

Twitter

– Email obtained by The Washington Post

In response to the email, dozens of Twitter employees posted one blue heart to say goodbye to their colleagues. The identical hearts were published one by one in a long scroll on Slack.

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Late Thursday night, some people who identified as Twitter employees were tweeting that they were being removed from internal systems and assumed they were being laid off.

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Twitter and Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Musk is under pressure to recoup an investment in a site he admitted he overpaid. He took ownership of Twitter last week after striking a deal to buy the site for $44 billion this spring, before trying to exit the purchase and then re-enter the agreement as the trial date approaches in a court battle.

Analysts have estimated the actual value of Twitter at approximately $25 billion. Musk also took out a loan of more than $12 billion to fund the purchase of the site, according to financial filings, pressing him to cut costs and stay solvent — in the face of Nearly 1 billion dollars a year Interest payments on this debt.

Musk is the CEO of the new company. His deputies include his attorney, Alex Spiro, investor David Sacks, and Jared Birshall, who runs the Musk family office.

The layoff came a week after a Twitter evaluation, in which Musk and his deputy imposed a product freeze that halted development on Twitter’s internal projects, brought in Tesla engineers to review Twitter’s code, and left workers waiting impatiently in a vacuum of information about the company’s direction and leadership.

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Musk was expected to go ahead with his plans to lay off about 50 percent of Twitter’s employees, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secret plans openly.

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Musk began his tenure at Twitter a week ago by firing former executives, including the CEO, CFO and general counsel.

The layoffs that began on Friday were expected to affect sales, trust, safety, marketing, products, engineering and legal teams — targeting the company across the board.

In addition to layoffs, Musk is also expected to make drastic cuts to other parts of the business — some so deep that employees are concerned about the ability to keep Twitter up and running, according to internal documents seen by The Washington Post and people familiar with the schemes that spoke provided Anonymity for fear of retribution.

In letters to engineers this week, managers asked workers to suggest ways to find at least $500 million in annual cuts across the company, according to the documents and people. The cuts will include the data centers and other software infrastructure needed to run the site, as well as targeting the contracted workforce that moderates content for Twitter.

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Earlier Thursday, amid reports of impending cuts, Twitter employees braced for what seemed to be the inevitable, updating their internal tools like messaging apps to see the latest — as the prospect of job losses loomed.

But little information remained until the email arrived later in the day.

At Twitter’s offices, employees tearfully said goodbye, exchanged contact information and tried to make their documents easier to access for employees who would remain.

They wanted to make sure that their colleagues could keep the site running in their absence.

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Before Musk took over the site, Twitter had already planned large-scale layoffs, which would have affected up to a quarter of employees, according to people familiar with the plans. The Post previously reported that the company’s board of directors was planning to cut thousands of jobs as part of an effort to save $700 million in labor costs.

Will Orems, Kat Zakrewski and Elizabeth Duskin contributed to this report.

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