Elon Musk plans to gut Twitter workforce by 75% after acquisition – GeekWire

Elon Musk
Elon Musk after a SpaceX launch in 2020. (GeekWire File Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Elon Musk’s plan to purchase Twitter would bring with it massive cuts to the social media company’s workforce, according to a report Thursday by The Washington Post.

Citing interviews and documents, the Post said that Musk has told prospective investors that as part of his deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion he would get rid of nearly 75% of the company’s 7,500 workers, cutting staff to just over 2,000.

Twitter was already planning to make significant cuts and trim payroll by about $800 million by the end of next year, the Post reported. But Musk’s plan to make the struggling company more profitable goes much further, the Post said, citing new details and conversations over the last few months.

After months of legal battles spurred by his attempt to drop out of a planned purchase, Musk — the CEO of Tesla and founder of SpaceX — decided to go ahead with his deal for Twitter. It’s now expected to close next week.

The Post said such large-scale layoffs would impact the experience for millions of users, with one data scientist saying that Twitter’s users would be at increased risk of hacks and exposure to offensive material such as child pornography.

Depending on which services and job types are affected, any future cuts could be felt by Twitter workers in the Seattle area. The company first set up shop in the city in 2012. In 2014, it moved to a dedicated engineering office for 50 employees in downtown Seattle. A year later, the office size doubled to nearly 100 employees.

A LinkedIn search for Twitter employees in the Seattle area now puts the number at nearly 400.

According to a representative with the real estate firm JLL in Seattle, Twitter still has two floors of space at the Century Square building in Seattle, and it is not currently being marketed for sublease.

But during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company adopted a work-from-home forever policy. Musk might have something to say about that, too, the way he did to Tesla employees in June when he reportedly said, “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”

The Post story also notes some of the potential investors and “Silicon Valley heavyweights” who said no to Musk, including Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. Citing people familiar with the situation, the Post said Hoffman helped connect Musk with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during the money-raising process.

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