Twitter employees have begun to post online that they believe they have been laid off, ahead of a company announcement later on Friday.
The social media behemoth says it will notify employees whether they are still employed following Elon Musk’s takeover.
Employees are leaving by tweeting with the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked and a saluting emoji.
Working for Twitter was “the greatest privilege ever,” according to Yash Agarwal, who worked in public policy.
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According to an internal email, the cuts are “an effort to put Twitter on a healthy path.”
The firm also stated that its offices would be temporarily closed, with employees unable to enter the building until they learned whether or not they had lost their jobs.
The multibillionaire will be Twitter’s CEO after purchasing the company for $44 billion (£39.3 billion) last week.
“On Friday, we will begin the difficult process of reducing our global workforce,” Twitter said in an email.
“We recognize that this will have an impact on a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter,” the company said. “However, this action is, unfortunately, necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward.”
According to the company, office access would be restricted immediately “to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data.”
By 09:00 Pacific time (16:00 GMT) on Friday, all employees will receive an email with the subject “Your Role at Twitter.”
According to Twitter, employees who are not affected will be notified via their company email.
Meanwhile, those affected will be notified of the “next steps” via their personal accounts.
“Because of the nature of our distributed workforce and our desire to inform impacted individuals as soon as possible,” Twitter stated.
“Exodus of talent”
According to reports, up to half of Twitter’s 8,000 employees may be laid off.
The platform is struggling to turn a profit. Making a dent in the wage bill is one solution to the problem.
Simon Balmain, a senior community manager for Twitter in the United Kingdom, told the BBC that he thought he had been fired because he was logged out of his work laptop and Slack messaging programme.
“Everyone got an email saying there was going to be a significant reduction in headcount, and then about an hour later, people started getting their laptops remotely wiped and access to Slack and Gmail revoked,” he explained.
“Most people in the UK are probably sleeping and are unaware. I was still awake because I was working mostly LA (Los Angeles) hours for the projects I was working on.”
Another Twitter employee stated that he was anxiously awaiting an email confirming his employment status.
He stated that he would most likely stay up late waiting for the message.
“The resulting exodus of talent will reshape the entire technology industry as we know it. We’re all looking out for one another, and the outpouring of love and support has been amazing to witness “Mr. Balmain stated.
According to Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, some senior staff were asked to create lists of employees to be cut from their teams.
Binance, a cryptocurrency platform, invested in Twitter as part of Mr Musk’s takeover. Changpeng Zhao, the company’s CEO, previously stated that “a slimmer workforce would make more sense.”
Mr Zhao, who was speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, also chastised the platform for being slow to roll out new features given its staffing levels.
Pay to verify
The cost-cutting follows criticism of Twitter’s fundraising efforts, which included a proposal to charge $8 (£7) per month for a “verified” blue check-mark.
Aside from the verification badge, those who pay may have their tweets promoted more broadly and see fewer advertisements.
Mr Musk tweeted about his plan, saying, “We need to pay the bills somehow.”
Twitter has not made a profit in several years, and its monthly user base has remained relatively stable at around 300 million.
Given current economic conditions and the depressed values of many tech stocks, many experts believe Mr Musk, the world’s richest man, overpaid for the company.
However, in a BBC interview, Brandon Borrman, Twitter’s former head of global communications, questioned how Twitter could justify charging people to remain on a “equal playing field” with other users.
It is unclear how the cuts will impact platform operations. Mr Musk has a reputation for being ruthless with his employees.
According to US media reports, some employees have already worked long hours to meet Mr Musk’s demands in the aftermath of the takeover.
Mr Musk stated in May that his work ethic expectations would be “extreme,” but lower than what he expected of himself.
As part of the deal, nine members of Twitter’s board of directors resigned, leaving self-styled “Chief Twit” Mr Musk as the sole director.
The move was interpreted as further cementing Mr Musk’s control over the company.
Chairman Bret Taylor and CEO Parag Agrawal were among those who left.
Other senior figures, including chief financial officer Ned Segal, have posted about leaving or are reported to have left.
As senior figures left, US media reported that several of Mr Musk’s supporters had joined Twitter.
Also, work ethic expectations would be extreme, but much less than I demand of myself
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2022
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