Elon Musk could fire 5,000 employees at Twitter due to ‘bloat’

Tesla CEO sees Twitter as a 'bloated' organization, employing far more people for its revenues.
Ameya Paleja

Elon Musk's Twitter takeover has entered an interesting stage where he can sit down with the company's lawyers and iron out a deal. However, the deal could see 5,000 employees facing the axe at Twitter, Washington Post has reported.

Twitter currently employs 7,500 workers, and documents accessed by the media outlet show that Musk plans to trim down the workforce by as much as 75 percent, down to a skeleton staff of just 2,000. In internal Slack channels, employees have reacted to this news with anger, WaPo reported.

Difficult times at Twitter

The whole Elon Musk Twitter acquisition saga has battered the social media company's reputation. Yet lawyers at Twitter were keen to see the deal go through despite all of Musk's bickering about spam accounts on the platform for one simple reason: Twitter was going through difficult times.

When compared to its competitors like Meta and Snap, Twitter has thin profit margins and, as a public company, is often scrutinized on Wall Street for its financial performance. Top-level executives were working on ways to cut down Twitter's expenses, and laying off 25 percent of the staff was one of its strategies, the WaPo report said.

Musk's $44 billion offer, which he has repeatedly said is overpaying for the company's current value, came as a breather for Twitter, which immediately stopped the plans of firing its employees, Bloomberg has reported.

Musk's brutal moves to make Twitter profitable

As Twitter looks set to announce the sale to Musk once again, the chopping board is likely to make a comeback but with a much bigger knife. The large-scale laying off could see Twitter services and user experience drastically compromised, fears a previous data scientist at the company.

According to Wa Po, Twitter dedicates employees and revenue towards monitoring content such as hate speech, child sexual abuse, and other ugly content, which would weaken in the face of job cuts.

This would expose users to offensive content and hacks that could see services go down. The skeleton staff left after the move would not have the institutional know-how to back up services, further ruining the Twitter experience.

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It isn't clear how Musk plans to keep the company and its services running with a highly reduced staff, much like how he plans to double to company's revenues in three years post the acquisition. This comes at a time when the time users spend on the platform is reducing.

Whether these plans are to improve the company's bottom line in the short term and attract more investors to unlock Twitter's true potential is something we will know in the years to come. According to WaPo's report, Musk and his lawyer Alex Spiro have contacted popular names in Silicon Valley, ranging from Musk's business partner from his PayPal days, Peter Thiel, as well as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, to get them involved in Twitter.

How many join the bandwagon remains to be seen, but something is certain. Musk's experiment with Twitter is about to begin.

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