Twitter to freeze hiring and rescind offers before Elon Musk deal

Changes reflect social media company's state of uncertainty as it awaits new owner

Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal announced a hiring freeze and other measures to cut costs before Elon Musk's takeover of the company. Reuters
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Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal announced a hiring freeze and other cost-cutting efforts on Thursday, a reflection of the company’s state of uncertainty while it awaits Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover.

The company will not hire new employees and may rescind offers already out, an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg showed. Some exceptions will be made for business-critical roles, as determined by Twitter leadership.

The company is also pulling back on costs such as travel, consulting and marketing, the memo said.

Mr Agrawal said global events, including the war in Ukraine and the supply chain crunch, have hurt Twitter’s business results and may continue to do so.

Company-wide job cuts are not planned, “but leaders will continue making changes to their organisations to improve efficiencies as needed”, Mr Agrawal wrote.

“At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals,” Mr Agrawal said.

“In order to responsibly manage the organisation as we sharpen our road maps and our work, we need to continue to be intentional about our teams, hiring and costs.”

Two of Twitter’s top leaders are also departing: Kayvon Beykpour, head of consumer product, and Bruce Falck, in charge of revenue, are both leaving the company.

Jay Sullivan will take over as head of product and interim head of revenue. Mr Sullivan has talked about refocusing the company on fewer projects during recent team- and company-wide meetings, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr Beykpour said on Twitter that it’s not how he imagined leaving the company.

“Parag asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction,” he said.

A Twitter representative didn’t respond to a request for comment.

As Mr Musk does not yet own Twitter, he is not yet directly influencing the company’s decision-making. Larger competitor Meta also recently said it will reduce planned expenditures.

The changes reflect Twitter’s current state of limbo while it awaits a new owner. Mr Musk, the world’s richest man and chief executive of Tesla, agreed to buy the company for $44 billion last month, but the deal may not be finalised for months, as he is still working to secure the financing.

On Tuesday, he suggested that the deal could still fall apart.

That has left Twitter employees in the lurch, as many do not know whether the projects or teams they are working on will be prioritised under new leadership.

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Updated: May 12, 2022, 6:22 PM