Elon Musk has told potential investors on Twitter that he wants to lay off about 75% of the social media site’s 7,500 employees.
According to a report, this would leave Twitter with only about 2,000 employees, which is not nearly enough to handle the flood of spam, hate, and false information on the platform.
According to WaPo, Twitter was already planning to lay off about 25% of its employees and close some of its major data centers before the billionaire Tesla founder came on the scene.
Elon Musk May Gut 75% Of Twitter Workforce
Musk isn’t prone to hyperbole, and his comments to potential investors aren’t necessarily indicative of the future as he approaches the Oct. 28 deadline to close the deal. But he has spoken publicly about cuts to Twitter without giving specifics.
Such a large cut could be dangerous for the platform, which is already struggling to keep up with the amount of global content that needs to be moderated. The service of former U.S. President Donald Trump and anti-Semitic posts by rapper Kanye West have been at the center of recent news about Trump’s possible reinstatement.
Peiter Zatko, who revealed the matter, spoke of an organization that needs more money, not less.
Elon Musk said during a Tesla earnings conference call yesterday that he and his current investors are paying far too much for the company, but that he sees “huge potential” and value in a (leaner?) Twitter in the future.
It won’t take Musk too long to show what he has in mind. Talks are ongoing, and if he wants to avoid a lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court, he needs to close the deal by next week. Yesterday, in one of the first positive comments about the purchase in many months, he said, “I’m excited about Twitter.”
Musk agreed to buy Twitter in April, but changed his mind in July. Twitter filed suit, and the two sides have been at odds since Oct. 17. After Musk made a new offer at the original price of $44 billion, or $54.20 per share, and a judge halted the proceedings to give the deal a second chance, things have improved a bit.
A judge in Delaware has given Musk a deadline of Oct. 28 to complete the purchase of Twitter. If he fails to do so, he will have to go to court, which could force the deal to close.
Twitter had sued Musk when he tried to get out of the deal earlier this year. The trial was supposed to take place this month, but Musk said two weeks ago that he is still willing to buy the company at the agreed-upon price. Musk will own and run Twitter as a private company if the deal goes through.
Twitter has long struggled to make money, and Musk has said he wants to completely transform the company to make it more profitable, but he hasn’t said much about how that will happen. Musk talked about layoffs at a town hall meeting with Twitter employees in June.
He said he saw no reason to keep underperforming employees on. The billionaire has also said he may launch a subscription service for premium content on the platform. He also reportedly told investors that Twitter will triple the number of users who see ads in his first three years as owner.