Even before Elon Musk aka Chief Twit finally purchased Twitter last week, there has been fear of massive layoffs. Initially the first reports were around 75%,of Twitter’s employees would be let go. Then that number had dropped to around 25%. Many had hinted the layoffs regardless of how big, would happened on Monday, October 31st as November 1st was the cut-off date for employees to remain eligible to receive their year-end Stock (Grant) Compensation. So far only a handful of employees are no longer with the company and those were from the executive team. Chief Twit did fire the previous CEO, CFO, Legal Counsel and General Counsel the day after his take-over was complete. The same day the Chief Consumer Officers (business ad sales) resigned and a couple other executives including CMO Leslie Berland have also left or may be leaving. As of Wednesday evening, the new numbers being announced were around 50% or 3750 of the total workforce with layoffs happening as soon as Friday.
The mass layoffs Twitter employees have been bracing for since Elon Musk began his takeover may be on the horizon. According to Bloomberg, the website’s new owner and “Chief Twit” is planning to cull 3,700 employees from the company’s workforce, which would cut its number of staff members in half, in an effort to cut costs. Musk and a team of advisers are still reportedly in the midst of finalizing the terms for the layoffs, but one option they’re considering is offering the people they let go 60 days’ of severance pay. The executive could break the news to affected staffers as soon as Friday.
Those who get to keep their jobs may have to get used to working from the office again. Bloomberg says Musk is also planning to end Twitter’s work-from-anywhere policy and asking employees to report to offices, barring some exceptions. The publication previously reported that Twitter employees had been worried about the changes Musk could bring when it comes to this particular policy before he even took over. It’s no secret that the executive isn’t a fan of work-from-home arrangements and had previously given Tesla and SpaceX employees an ultimatum, demanding that they spend 40 hours in the office or leave the company.
I have a bad feeling when this is all said and done, the final number of employees leaving Twitter (either voluntarily or involuntarily) is going to be much higher. Especially with the ‘return to the office’ directive. He has already did the same thing with Tesla and Space X telling employees he expects them to be in the office for 40-hours a week. Again, I feel Musk fails to understand that Twitter is a very different company compared to Tesla and Space X as are their customer and employees. Twitter (like other big tech) employees have gotten accustom to working from home (and doing so productively) the last couple years. They are far more likely to go elsewhere (and they are going to be highly sought after by other tech companies with less restrictive work at office policies) than return to the office (which may be a part of Musk’s plan to reduce to head count). However, even after the ‘dust settles’ with the layoffs more employees may end up leaving when the realize they no longer can handle being back in the office or what is likely to become a toxic work environment.
Shall we start taking bets on how long until Twitter crashes and burns, becoming the most iconic tech collapse of the 21st Century? Chief Twit is slowly gutting the work force and alienating users with the new verification system (which would be attached $8 USD a month Twitter Blue). Even those user’s who don’t care about verification (but they will get anyway) are not happy that Twitter Blue going to be higher priced with less features (no ad-free content and not required to be able to edit Tweets) than before. Then there are the advertisers, the bread and butter of Twitter, they are the ones who basically ‘pay Twitter’s bills’:
In recent days, he has also been lashing out at Twitter’s core customers (advertisers), following reports that some are going cold on the platform over brand safety concerns attached to his particular brand of ‘free speech’ — a self-defeating dynamic that looks set to increase Musk’s financial bind.