Elon Musk took extensive job cuts in his first week as owner of Twitter Inc., while complaining that advertisers have slashed their ad spend on the platform over concerns about how advertisers will handle content moderation.
Mr Musk blamed the “huge drop in revenue” on “activist groups pressuring advertisers”. He said in the tweet that Twitter has not made any changes to the content moderation and has tried to address the concerns of the activists.
“We’ve tried our best to make them happy, and nothing is working,” Musk told an investment conference in New York on Friday. “This is a major concern,” he said, casting the ad pullback as an attack on free speech.
Mr. Musk, later Friday, appeared on Threats to expose advertisers Joe was withholding business from Twitter, even though many have gone public about their decision to suspend ads as they watch what the new Twitter owner does with the platform. “A thermonuclear name and a shame what if this continues,” he tweeted.
The comments came as Twitter was informing half of its employees that they were being let go. The layoffs were broad-based, ranging from the communications team to the people working on machine learning. The cuts would bring Twitter’s head count back to levels it hadn’t seen in years when it was a small business.
Ever since Mr Musk took over the social-media platform on 27 October, change has accelerated. Tesla Inc.
The chief executive removed most of the previous leaders, brought in employees from elsewhere in his business empire, and raised the price of Twitter’s subscription service to push Twitter to become less ad-reliant. Meanwhile, several big-name advertisers, including food company General Mills Inc.,
Oreo Manufacturer Mondelez International Inc.
and pfizer Inc.,
The Wall Street Journal reports that they have temporarily paused their Twitter advertising.
Twitter began notifying employees about their future employment status early Friday, according to documents seen by the Journal. In the layoff email, Twitter said that employees granted “nonworking” status will continue to receive compensation and benefits through a different date, which was announced as early as February for one person and early February for another. Named in early January.
The company told employees that they can expect to receive one month’s basic pay in severance, approximately 45 days after the expiration date, in addition to providing instructions to return company assets such as laptops. Twitter did not say whether employees should expect to receive year-end bonuses, which current and former employees said have historically been based on individual and company performance.
Employees retaining their roles were also told that they are still employees of Twitter and that Mr. Musk is expected to communicate with him soon about his vision for the company, according to an email seen by the Journal. is according to. Twitter’s offices will reopen on Monday, the email said. In Thursday’s email about pending head-count reductions, Twitter had said its offices were being temporarily closed and asked employees to go home.
The constant drumbeat of news and change caused anxiety among the workers there, with some reacting with humour.
Parker Lyons, a senior financial analyst at Twitter, fired off a series of gallows-humored tweets over the weekend that joked about LinkedIn recruiters going round and checking their email. On Thursday night, as employees awaited news of the layoffs, he tweeted: “Can I check my job or my personal email tomorrow?”
The next morning, he tweeted a meme from the TV cartoon “Sponge Bob SquarePants” about a restaurant on fire, comparing it to Twitter. He captioned the image: “Back to work.”
There were signs of pushback against Twitter’s actions in the wake of the dismissal. In a federal lawsuit on Thursday, a handful of Twitter employees accused the company of violating federal and California law by failing to provide adequate warnings of mass layoffs.
The lawsuit, filed in California federal court by five former Twitter employees who said they were terminated this week, said the company’s layoffs violated the federal Employee Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and its California counterpart, for which 60 days advance written warning is required. The simultaneous dismissal of a large number of employees of a company. The lawsuit asked the court to issue an order blocking Twitter from alleged violations of the acts.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the lawsuit or layoffs.
At the company, more than 100 people working in design and research roles were laid off, the communications team was reduced to a few members of about 80, and about 15 people who worked to provide resources for employees. Worked in two teams. Disabled and platform tools for disabled users were among those let go, current and former employees said. Legal, revenue product and machine learning teams were also among those affected.
The job cuts will affect some 784 San Francisco office workers; approximately 106 employees in San Jose; and about 93 employees at its Los Angeles office, according to letters Twitter sent Friday to California officials seen by the Journal. Employees located elsewhere were also affected.
The billionaire revealed some of his perspectives at the New York Investment Conference. The goal, he said, is to create a super app called X.Com, which is based on plans he created more than 20 years ago, when he helped create what is now PayPal Holdings Inc. Super apps like WeChat, which has a large user base in China, allow users to message others and send money to people, among other features.
Mr Musk also discussed his plan developed in recent days, sometimes through his conversations on Twitter, about raising the price of Twitter Blue, a subscription service, from $4.99 per month to $7.99 and signing up for it. to give to the people. The ability to post long format videos and podcasts, among other features. Twitter currently does not allow videos longer than two minutes and 20 seconds. Subscribers’ accounts will also be verified, he added, a status Twitter has so far only granted users it considers notable at no cost.
He added that for users who subscribe to the service, their content will appear at the top of the feed, above spam tweets. Currently, he said, it costs less than a penny to build a bot. But with the Twitter Blue subscription model, “it’s too expensive to have 100,000 fake accounts now.” This bot can discourage account operators from paying for verification.
“Our goal is with Twitter, how do we get 80% of the public to join the digital town square and give their opinion and exchange ideas and change their minds once and for all?” They said. Mr Musk did not address the widespread layoffs in detail on Twitter, saying instead that the company faced revenue challenges before it was acquired.
Mr. Musk Late Friday Addressed job cuts, tweeted: “Unfortunately there is no alternative when the company is losing more than $4M/day.” He said three months severance was offered to those exiting the company.
—Meghan Bobrowski and Alyssa Lukpat contributed to this article.
write to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected] and Alexa Corse at [email protected]
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