Elon Musk planning to cut 75% of Twitter staffers

Elon Musk has reportedly told prospective investors in his deal to buy the company that he planned to get rid of nearly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500 staffers, reducing staff headcount to just over 2,000. Regardless, Twitter’s workforce is likely to be hit with massive cuts in the coming months, no matter who owns the company, interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Post show.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Elizabeth Dwoskin, Faiz Siddiqui, Gerrit De Vynck, and Jeremy B. Merrill for The Washington Post:

Twitter’s current management planned to pare the company’s payroll by about $800 million by the end of next year, a number that would mean the departure of nearly a quarter of the workforce, according to corporate documents and interviews with people familiar with the company’s deliberations. The company also planned to make major cuts to its infrastructure, including data centers that keep the site functioning for more than 200 million users that log on each day.

The extent of the cuts, which have not been previously reported, help explain why Twitter officials were eager to sell to Musk: Musk’s $44 billion bid, though hostile, is a golden ticket for the struggling company — potentially helping its leadership avoid painful announcements…

MacDailyNews Take: In other words: avoiding doing their jobs.

On Thursday evening, Twitter’s top lawyer Sean Edgett sent out a note to all employees saying the company did not have any confirmation from Musk about his plans. Twitter’s own, smaller-scale “cost savings discussions” were put on hold once the merger agreement was signed, Edgett said, according to an email viewed by The Post.

In internal Slack groups, Twitter employees reacted to the news with anger and resignation…

MacDailyNews Take: If these Twitter staffers had done their jobs well, instead of working to bastardize the service, they wouldn’t have to be axed.

“The easy part for Musk was buying Twitter and the hard part is fixing it,” said Dan Ives, a financial analyst with Wedbush Securities. “It will be a herculean challenge to turn this around.”

In the one town hall that he attended, in June, Musk was pointedly asked a question about layoffs. He answered that he didn’t see a reason low performers should remain employed.

MacDailyNews Take: Twitter can be made valuable, worth far in excess of $54.20 per share, if the platform is returned to an open “town square” marketplace of ideas, sans heavy-handed, one-sided censorship, shadow-banning, etc.

As we wrote back in April, “Broken long ago, Twitter is a slanted, myopic joke as it is currently run.”

Hopefully Musk will be an agent of change for a platform that should, at this point, be considered a public utility that allows for all viewpoints to be openly discussed.

Elon Musk is a doer.

The doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person. – Steve Jobs

Art and music, design and performance, opinion, fiction, provocation, are what we work to enable. That fills us with such a sense of pride as well as a deep sense of responsibility because we know that these freedoms require protection; not just the forms of speech that entertain us, but the ones that challenge us, the ones that unnerve and even displease us. They’re the ones that need protection the most. Unpopular speech, unpopular art, and unpopular ideas; speech that questions the people in power.

It’s no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the First Amendment. They’re the foundation of so many of our rights. We means we all have a stake, and a role, in defending them. This is a responsibility that Apple takes very seriously… We work to defend these freedoms enabling people around the world to speak up.Apple CEO Tim Cook, accepting the Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award on April 18, 2017

The Internet has become as important as anything man has ever created. But those freedoms are being chipped away. Please, I beg you, open your senses to the will of the people to keep the Internet as free as possible… I don’t want to feel that whichever content supplier had the best government connections or paid the most money determined what I can watch and for how much. This is the monopolistic approach and not representative of a truly free market in the case of today’s Internet.Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak for The Atlantic, December 21, 2010

A few more quotes:

• Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. ― Benjamin Franklin

To view the opposition as dangerous is to misunderstand the basic concepts of democracy. To oppress the opposition is to assault the very foundation of democracy. ― Aung San Suu Kyi

• Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost. ― Neil Gaiman

Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. – Potter Stewart

• Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. ― United Nations

• If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. ― George Washington

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  1. Twitter probably has A LOT of employees who intentionally make Twitter less successful, by alienating a large percentage of existing and potential users. Current Twitter is less profitable BY DESIGN. What sane investors would have continued to invest in a company that doesn’t care about increasing value for shareholders?

    Elon Musk being threatened with a lawsuit if he didn’t go through with deal may be a good thing. It’s no longer a “hostile” takeover when Elon is being forced to do it. Employees can blame their own leadership for forcing Elon to take control, resulting in their layoffs.

    1. Yep. Those dunderheaded
      Twitter employees are about as believable as AppleCynic advocating on behalf of Apple.

      Maybe 75% of the boneheaded leftist losers that frequent this site with their venom need to be sacked by Elon, too.

  2. With Twitter, this is addition by subtraction. Huge increase in the enterprise value and quality by eliminating most of the employees. The same concept should be applied ASAP to our government if we want to remain free and able to feed ourselves.

    1. Freedom to drive = freedom to drive drunk and use car as a weapon to murder people. Driving is not without limits. Punish the offenders and prevent/cure mental illness. Let everyone else have and enjoy freedom.

      1. Continuing your analogy: drunk drivers are punished by losing their license to drive. That is in line with banning liars and insurrectionists from “speaking” in a public forum.

        Where is the disconnect?

        1. The disconnect is that driving offenders are punished, according to law. Other drivers are unaffected. Censorship affects everyone. Most people being censored and/or banned are NOT “liars and insurrectionists.” They are simply practicing freedom of speech according to law. Some counterproductive censorship employee at Twitter being triggered is not against the law. I understand that Twitter is not the government so they can censor/ban people who are not breaking laws, but that’s the point. Elon wants to use the lawful definition of Freedom of Speech (and its limits) when moderating discussion on Twitter, not loosely defined internal rules that are selectively applied based on violator.

  3. If leftist socialist ideas are so great, why do leftist socialists need to control the mass media (“news,” music, Hollywood, etc.), control, censor, blacklist, shadow-ban social networks, infiltrate and control the schools and universities, etc.?

    If leftist socialist ideas are so great they should sell themselves.

    But, no, in reality, leftist socialist ideas have to be forced everywhere.

    17 days until the midterms where bad leftist socialist ideas and those who spout them will be gloriously repudiated by true Americans en masse.

    1. If non-leftist ideas…..are so great, why are they forced upon people with book banning, firing teachers, etc and votes suppressed to keep their facist protagonists in power?

      1. You’re laughable. Georgia, supposedly “Jim Crow on Steroids,” “Jim Eagle,” for instituting (some) voter integrity is recording record voting.

        Book banning? You mean “My Dad’s Pregnant” for kindergartners? Yup, ban the nonsense. Firing teachers, who claim they;re women when they’re clearly men and always will be? Yup, fire ’em.

        Despite owning all of the levers of “society,’ leftist socialist are about to be destroyed in the upcoming election. 🤣

        1. “Firing teachers, who claim they;re women when they’re clearly men and always will be? Yup, fire ’em.”

          If they’re doing the job they’re paid to do then why should they be fired?

            1. Like the Republican running for an Arizona college district’s governing board who suspended his campaign Tuesday, two weeks after he was arrested for allegedly masturbating outside a preschool at one of the colleges he was hoping to represent. Big Trump fan too.

  4. My bold prediction…Musk talks about eliminating 75% of the workforce. Musk, once he actually has to do so, sees that once again his mouth worked faster than his brain. Layoffs will be far closer to the old management plan of 25%.

  5. Freedom to knowingly lie, spread disinformation and encourage idiotic efforts to shift our republic into an autocracy is still to be devoutly rejected and censored.

  6. A lot of Twitter’s internal content moderation efforts are focused on downplaying content to the right of far leftist thought. That is a recipe for financial ruin as Warner Bros, Netflix and other organizations have discovered. You can only lose for so long to realize that you don’t have a sustainable business model.

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