Twitter to lay off 25% of workforce in first round of job cuts, report says

Rumours spread over how much of social network's workforce Elon Musk will lay off

A person walks past the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California. AFP
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Twitter, which Elon Musk acquired last week, plans to lay off one quarter of its workforce as part of what is expected to be a first round of job cuts, The Washington Post reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Celebrity lawyer Alex Spiro, a long-time Musk legal representative, led the conversations about the job cuts, the report said.

Twitter had more than 7,000 employees at the end of 2021, a regulatory filing showed. One quarter of the headcount would amount to about 2,000 employees.

Mr Musk meanwhile denied a New York Times report about laying off Twitter employees at a date earlier than November 1 to avoid stock grants due on that day.

In response to a Twitter user asking about the layoffs, Mr Musk tweeted: “This is false.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

On Monday, Mr Musk became the sole director of the social media company after the removal of all nine other board members, in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement, a securities filing showed.

Concerns over massive layoffs swirled in the run-up to Mr Musk’s buyout, when potential investors were told that he would eliminate 75 per cent of the workforce.

Mr Musk later denied the cuts would be that deep, though he has not elaborated on his plans. In recent weeks, Mr Musk has hinted at his staffing priorities, saying he wants to focus on the core product.

The Tesla head fired Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal, finance chief Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde on completion of a six-month $44 billion buyout saga of the social media platform on Thursday, sources told Reuters.

News agencies contributed to this report

Updated: October 31, 2022, 4:42 PM