According to Washington Post sources, Elon Musk could put 75% of Twitter employees on the line. Currently, Twitter has around 7,500 people in its workforce so the layoffs could affect over 5600.
In acquiring Twitter after months of twists and turns, Musk would have expressed this willingness to potential investors, justifying it with the need to reduce costs.
According to the extension recently obtained, Musk must close the Twitter purchase by October 28th. Behind the scenes, it appears that things are fitting together — not only have some sources confirmed this to the Washington Post, but Bloomberg reports that Twitter has frozen its employees’ stock premiums, a sign of an imminent change of scenery.
The extent of the cuts circulating during these hours is striking, but a staff reduction was already on the horizon before Musk’s offer. The Twitter leaders planned to cut almost a quarter of the workforce (about 1900 layoffs) to lower the payroll of 800 million dollars.
According to Edwin Chen, a data scientist in charge of spam and other Twitter metrics, massive layoffs could have “unimaginable” effects – they could affect the social network’s security, exposing it more easily to data leaks.
To facilitate the reduction of staff, rumours say that Musk plans to implement the so-called “stack ranking”, a somewhat controversial employee performance ranking system. Abandoned by Microsoft in 2013, it unleashes fierce competition toxic environment within the companies in which it is implemented.
While we wait for Musk to complete the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter and demonstrate his vision for the future social network, it is important to remember that the owner of Tesla and SpaceX is notoriously vague in his intentions and statements, so the 75% employee cut may be nothing more than a number pulled out of a hat to impress some investors.
It is not, in fact, the only prediction in freedom of Musk — in the past, he has stated that he aims to double the turnover of Twitter in three years but has never explained how he intends to do it.