Ever since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, he has complained about employees at the social media company. In particular, Musk has pointed out that Twitter is employing too many people, which in turn is ballooning the company's expenses. Well, not anymore. On Nov 1, days after Musk acquired Twitter on October 28, the total number of Twitter employees was above 7500. Just three weeks, later Twitter has just 2700 employees, with their dwindling due to mass firings and mass resignations.
Essentially, Twitter has been gutted and many countries almost all of Twitter workforce has been wiped off. For example in India, almost 90 per cent of Twitter's 200 employees have been laid off. Elon Musk's fans, and he has quite a few them, in an endearing way have compared him to Thanos, who with a snap of his fingers destroyed half of the population universe in Marvel's fictional universe.
Interestingly, Musk might not have snapped his fingers like Thanos did. But he has acted in somewhat similar way, culling the Twitter workforce mercilessly and, on some occasions, mockingly. Although, irrespective of whatever Musk tweets, it is quite clear that decision to let go of Twitter employees was primarily driven by the desire to cut operating cost and spruce up Twitter's financial health.
Here is how the layoffs and resignations at Twitter have unfolded in the last three weeks.
After taking over Twitter on October 28, Musk immediately fired the company's CEO Parag Agrawal and its Policy Chief Vijaya Gadde, along with Twitter CFO Ned Segal. Later, he also reportedly fired the entire board of directors to take full control of the company and become the sole director.
Musk then sacked around 3,700 Twitter employees in the first week of November. The company had sent out an email to employees, informing about the layoffs. The departments that were impacted are product trust and safety, policy, communications, tweet curation, ethical AI, data science, research, machine learning, social good, accessibility, and even certain core engineering teams, according to tweets by laid-off employees.
The layoffs were done on the global scale. In India, more than 90 per cent of Twitter staff were asked to leave the social media company. Most of them were part of the marketing, product and communications teams. Twitter had over 200 workers in India.
When people on Twitter started cursing Musk for laying off thousands of employees, he said that the company had to take this decision to cut costs and improve its financial condition because ads business is also down.
More company leaders such as Arnaud Weber, VP of consumer product engineering, and Tony Haile, who is a senior director of product supervising Twitter's work with news publishers, were laid off.
Just after firing thousands of employees, the top Twitter leaders -- likely the ones that Musk has brought from outside -- realized that some of the workers were crucial to Twitter operations and were asked to leave by mistake. The company then asked them to rejoin the company by saying that they were pretty important and that their layoff was a mistake. However, it was discovered that many were not interested in re-joining the company because of the cruel work hour rules and other demands.
Layoffs didn't end as Musk later fired even the ones who criticized him. A Twitter engineer was fired for fact-checking claims about the app running "super slow" in some regions. A report from NBC news also claimed that roughly 20 Twitter employees lost jobs at Twitter for criticizing Elon Musk on social media platforms and internally on Slack.
Just a few days back, it was reported that close to 1,200 full-time employees resigned from the company. Twitter had sent an email asking employees to click on "yes" option if they are ready for a "hardcore" work culture and work for 80 hours a week. A lot of Twitter engineers didn't agree to Musk's demand and decided to leave the social media platform with three-month severance pay.
People from different teams resigned to escape Musk's extreme hardcore work demands. There was a 20-person team known as Twitter Command Center, that looked after preventing outages and technology failures during high-traffic events. The "core services" team that used to handle computing architecture, now reportedly has about four people, down from more than 100. A report from WSJ also claimed that the team which used to look after how media appears in tweets or how profiles show follower counts is no longer there. The report also revealed that Musk plans to shut down one of Twitter's three main US data centers, which stores information or data needed to run the platform.
While Twitter has officially not put out any numbers or how many employees it has left, the fresh reports suggest that Twitter under Musk now has around 2700 employees as of November 22. Although, there is a fresh report that suggests that Musk may fire a few more employees from the sales team.
While the major focus of news reports has been on Twitter's regular employees, Elon Musk after taking over has also reduced the number of contract workers for whom the firm was paying. According to reports, Twitter has ended contract with around 4400 employees who were working for it on contract basis.
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