If Elon Musk finally gets his hands on Twitter in the next week, he could lay off up to 75% of the company’s workforce.
Musk has told prospective investors in his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter that he intends to get rid of three-quarters of the staff members there, according to documents seen by the Washington Post.
If it happens, it means the billionaire entrepreneur would oversee the loss of around 5,500 Twitter employees in a move that would reduce its workforce from 7,500 to just over 2,000, the Post said.
The report lines up with public comments made by Musk in June when he implied job losses would occur, saying Twitter’s costs exceeded its revenues and that the company needed to “get healthy.”
Speaking to the Post about Musk’s reported plan to send the majority of Twitter’s workforce packing, Edwin Chen, a data scientist and former head of Twitter’s spam and health metrics, said it would be “unimaginable,” adding: “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.”
In other words, losing so many workers could have a damaging impact on the quality of the service offered by Twitter. And with many users concerned about Musk’s apparent plan to reduce content moderation on a platform that already struggles with such issues, the apparent plan will likely be a big concern for many in the Twitter community.
Musk’s offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion is expected to go through by October 28. It follows a lengthy legal battle with the social media company that at times appeared to throw the deal into doubt.
If the acquisition falls through in the coming days and Musk ends up not acquiring Twitter, the Post said significant layoffs at the social media company could still take place, though on a smaller scale than what Musk reportedly has planned. According to its report, prior to Musk’s involvement, the company had been planning to reduce its workforce by 25%, equal to around 1,900 employees.