Twitter Layoffs: Elon Musk’s Twitter is cutting jobs across the company

CNN business

Twitter laid off employees in departments across the company on Friday, in a massive round of cost-cutting that could potentially upend the way one of the world’s most influential platforms operates a week after it was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk.

Scores of Twitter employees began posting on the platform Thursday evening and Friday morning that they had been banned from their company email accounts before the planned termination notice. Some also shared blue hearts and greeting emojis indicating they were in the company.

As of Friday morning, Twitter employees from departments including ethical AI, marketing and communications, search, public policy, wellness and other teams had been tweeting about her layoff. Members of the curation team who help spread reliable information on the platform, including about elections, have also been fired, according to the staff.

“I was just remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack,” a Twitter contributor said on the platform. “So sad it had to end like this.”

Another staffer said she and other members of Twitter’s human rights team had been fired. The staffer added that she is proud of the team’s work “to protect the vulnerable in global conflicts and crises, including Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Ukraine, and to defend the needs of those who are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses due to their social situation media presence, such as journalists and human rights defenders, are threatened.”

A Twitter employee who was fired told CNN on Friday that some workers were relieved to have been fired. “It would have been a punishment for me to be safe,” the clerk said.

While Twitter employees were posting about their firing, Musk appeared in a friendly interview at an investor conference on Friday and spoke about cheaper electric vehicles and his ambitions to go to Mars. During the interview, Musk said via Twitter, “I’ve been trying to get out of business,” but then added, “I think there’s tremendous potential… and I think it could become one of the most valuable companies in the world.”

The interviewer said Musk fired “half of Twitter,” and Musk nodded, although he didn’t comment on the remark. He appeared to brand the layoffs as necessary for a company that, like other social media companies prior to its acquisition, had “revenue challenges” as advertisers reconsider spending amid recession fears.

Musk also said “a number of large advertisers have stopped investing on Twitter in the days since the acquisition closed.”

Elon Musk was speaking at an investment conference on Friday morning when employees of Twitter, which he now owns, received notifications that they had been fired from the company.

It’s unclear how many Twitter employees have been or will be laid off. Twitter had about 7,500 employees prior to Musk’s acquisition. There have been reports in recent days that Twitter could cut 25% to 50% of its workforce as Musk reassesses how the platform operates and seeks to improve the company’s bottom line after incurring significant debt financing to fund its $44 billion -Acquisition started.

The email, which was sent Thursday night, told employees they would receive a notification by 12:00 p.m. ET Friday notifying them of their employment status.

“If your employment is not affected, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email,” said a copy of the email obtained by CNN. “If your employment is affected, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email.”

The email added that “to ensure the security” of Twitter’s employees and systems, the company’s offices “will be temporarily closed and access to all identification will be suspended.”

The email concluded by confirming it will be “an incredibly challenging experience” for the workforce.

Several Twitter employees filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday night alleging that Twitter violated the state and California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) after already firing some employees.

The WARN Act requires an employer with more than 100 employees to give 60 days’ written notice of any mass redundancy “affecting 50 or more employees in a single workplace”.

“Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, has made it clear that he considers compliance with federal labor laws to be ‘trivial,'” attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement to CNN. “We filed this federal complaint to ensure Twitter is held accountable for our laws and to prevent Twitter employees from unknowingly giving up their rights.”

California’s Employment Development Department confirmed to CNN that no WARN reports had been filed by Twitter as of Friday noon.

Musk began his tenure at Twitter by firing CEO Parag Agrawal and two other executives, according to two people familiar with the decision.

And in less than a week since Musk took over the company, a mix of layoffs and resignations seems to have almost completely stripped the C-suite. Musk also dissolved Twitter’s former board of directors.

Many employees summed up their feelings with a hashtag on Friday: #LoveWhereYouWorked, a past play with a hashtag formerly commonly used by Twitter employees.

– Clare Duffy and Shawn Nottingham contributed to this report


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