Elon Musk reportedly plans to cut Twitter workforce by 75% • The Register

Elon Musk reportedly told investors in his Twitter buyout that he will slash the workforce by 75 percent once his court-ordered takeover is complete.

However, Twitter told employees that no company-wide layoffs are planned since the mogul signed the merger deal.

According to documents received from The Washington PostMusk told potential investors in the deal that he intends to downsize Twitter’s 7,500 employees to 2,000.

The newspaper claims cuts are on the horizon regardless of whether the Musk acquisition goes through or not. Citing company documents and “people familiar with the matter,” management plans to cut payroll by $800 million, or nearly a quarter of the workforce.

Twitter is also considering reducing its infrastructure costs, “including data centers that keep the site running for more than 200 million users who log in daily.”

Twitter’s general counsel Sean Edgett warned workers in an internal memo to expect “tons of public rumor and speculation” as the Oct. 28 deadline for the deal nears.

“We have no confirmation of the buyer’s plans upon completion and recommend not following any rumors or leaked documents, but instead awaiting facts directly from us and the buyer,” he added.

Bloomberg confirmed that investors have been briefed on the planned cuts – as well as the goal of doubling revenue within three years on the back of a skeleton crew.

“Since the merger agreement went into effect, there are no plans for company-wide layoffs,” Edgett said.

And of course, all of this should fill the Twitter staff with confidence.

WaPo spoke to a former Twitter data scientist, Edwin Chen, about the impact of the proposed cuts and was told Twitter would be less able to secure accounts and moderate illegal material.

“It would be a cascading effect where services go down and people don’t have the institutional knowledge to get them going again and are completely demoralized and want to abandon themselves.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that the Biden administration is considering subjecting Musk’s ventures — including the Twitter acquisition — to national security reviews as the billionaire appears to be showing a softening stance on Russia.

First he suggested conditions for peace positive for Putin between Russia and Ukraine, based on UN-supervised votes in the annexed regions, Crimea officially granted to Russia and Ukraine’s assured neutrality. Then him groaned that its decision to ship Starlink to Ukraine had cost the company over $80 million and called on the Pentagon to foot the bill.

He then threw his toy out of the stroller and snorted, “The hell with that…even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions from taxpayers, we’re just going to keep funding the Ukrainian government for free.”

According to Bloomberg’s sources, Uncle Sam could potentially investigate Musk’s deals through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews takeovers of American companies by foreign buyers.

Musk’s Twitter consortium includes Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, Chinese-led Binance Holdings Ltd and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/21/musk_twitter_layoffs/ Elon Musk reportedly plans to cut Twitter workforce by 75% • The Register

Rick Schindler

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