Previously undeclared documents have revealed that Elon Musk plans to downgrade Twitter’s workforce from 7,500 to 2,000 when he finally acquires the social media company. The billionaire reportedly told potential investors that he will axe Twitter’s workforce by 75% – and that the impending downsize will be across the board, no matter who owns the company.
More private documents also revealed that Twitter management was planning to cut down on employees and so save about $800 million in salaries by the end of 2023 – long before Musk offered to acquire the company for $44 billion. And in recent months, the company has reduced hiring amidst the economic downturn that hails the tech industry, expecting that Musk would purchase the company fast enough to prevent a crash.
While the deal with Musk has led to a massive legal battle after the billionaire tried to walk away, Twitter management posted a message to employees that it is not planning on any major company layoffs at the moment. But many company executives and employees did not believe this, and so took the initiative of exiting the company when Musk began his on-and-off drama with the acquisition deal.
External analysts however stated that even though Musk has U-turned and would be purchasing Twitter, after all, the company is on a nosedive and Musk would have a hard time balancing it up for adequate profitability. “Twitter appears to be rudderless, and on a bit of a downward spiral, and it has only been exacerbated by Musk,” said Carl Tobias, Williams chair in law at the University of Richmond. “It looks like it is going to be rough sailing for some time.”
One of the major concerns of analysts with Musk’s proposed layoff of 75% of workers is that the social media platform will face a Herculean task managing its daily operations effectively. The remaining workforce will not be able to manage the more than 200 million users logging into Twitter daily, and this will impact the company’s ability to deal with harmful content and potential security issues.
“It would be a cascading effect,” said Edwin Chen, a data scientist formerly in charge of Twitter’s spam and health metrics and now CEO of the content-moderation start-up Surge AI, “where you’d have services going down and the people remaining not having the institutional knowledge to get them back up, and being completely demoralized and wanting to leave themselves.”
Other concerned analysts said the company would not be able to maintain its operational and security infrastructure and the remaining workers will not be adequate to deal with the influx of spam, hate speech, misinformation, hacking attempts, and offensive content such as child pornography. But as it stands, Musk is working to secure the funding to acquire the company before next week Friday, which is the ultimatum given by a federal judge.