The Washington Post reported that Musk told prospective investors that he plans to get rid of “nearly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500 workers, whittling the company down to a skeleton staff of just over 2,000.”
The report said that even if the Musk’s acquisition of Twitter somehow does not go through, large cuts are still expected as the current people running the company planned to get rid of roughly 25% of the company’s staff.
The report said that the planned cuts by Twitter’s executives helped to explain why the company wanted to sell to Musk once he made the offer.
The social media platform had been fighting Musk in court over his attempt to cancel a previous offer to buy the company for $44 billion, a move he said was driven by concerns that executives were underestimating the actual number of fake accounts on the platform. Musk revived his efforts to purchase Twitter earlier this month.
Beyond his concern about fake accounts, Musk has voiced criticism over lackluster support on Twitter for free expression. He began his shakeup campaign several months ago with a poll for his millions of followers regarding the platform’s adherence to the principle of free speech.
Former Twitter data scientist Edwin Chen said that the cuts would immediately impact the platform and that users would probably be able to notice a difference right away.
“It would be a cascading effect where you’d have services going down and the people remaining not having the institutional knowledge to get them back up, and being completely demoralized and wanting to leave themselves,” he claimed.
The report said that Musk believed that gutting the company was the first step and then he could reshape it through new hires.
The report also disclosed some of the people who decided to help invest in Twitter with Musk, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Sequoia partner Doug Leone, who the Post said “were also Trump supporters and self-proclaimed believers in the type of free speech ideology Musk promised to bring back to the platform.”
The report added that hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin, “the second largest GOP donor in the current midterm cycle, also committed a smaller amount — under $20 million compared with $1 billion from Ellison — to the deal.”
Ben Zeisloft contributed to this report.
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