Elon Musk is expected to take the keys to Twitter by the end of next week following a rollercoaster of legal battles, online spats, and complex negotiations. Regardless of who owns the platform, the social media giant appears set for some severe cuts to its workforce.
That’s according to a new report by the Washington Post that investigated the Twitter takeover through a number of interviews and obtained documents. Musk reportedly told prospective investors that his takeover of the company would involve firing nearly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500-strong workforce. In response to the media report, Twitter's top lawyer Sean Edgett emailed employees on Thursday saying the company does not have any plan for layoffs, Reuters reports.
The deal is set to go ahead by all accounts, but even if it doesn’t, the company could be heading towards cuts due to a wider economic downturn in the tech industry and beyond, according to the Post.
Musk, for his part, recently said he was optimistic about the takeover. While conceding that he and his investors have hugely overpaid for the platform, he believes it has the long-term potential to greatly exceed its current value. It’s uncertain how this will be achieved with just a fraction of the workforce, but it’s clear that Twitter could see some huge changes in the coming years.
The SpaceX founder has suggested that he's buying the social media platform as part of a bigger plan to build “X, the everything app”. Although very few details of this plan have not been publicly discussed, it’s been speculated that X could seek inspiration from the “super-apps” of China such as WeChat, which incorporate instant messaging, social media, and mobile payments all under one centralized platform.
Others aren’t so thrilled. Last month, there were reports the drama of the Musk deal generated low morale among Twitter’s ranks, encouraging flocks of employees to leave their job.
The US government is also dubious about the idea of a Musk-owned Twitter. Bloomberg reports that the federal government has been looking into ways to review this latest venture of the billionaire, citing his stance on the Russian-Ukraine conflict and the potential presence of foreign investors in the consortium.
The drama, as ever, continues.