Elon Musk Reportedly Planning to Cut 50% of Jobs at Twitter

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)

On Thursday, October 27, Elon Musk officially acquired the social media titan, Twitter. In the short week since taking over the role of CEO, Musk has set a great deal of changes in motion, both on the platform itself and in the behind-the-scenes running of the website.

Among his first moves at Twitter CEO was firing several executives, including former CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety. Additionally, Elon Musk made the shocking announcement that blue checkmarks, previously used to denote the real accounts of celebrities and other high-profile users, would now be available to anyone willing to pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, these major shakeups are just the beginning for the social media platform. The CEO allegedly plans to lay off close to 4,000 Twitter employees. Members of senior personnel were asked to reduce their staff by half. Meanwhile, other leaders were tasked with making lists of team members they would fire.

The official numbers vary from report to report, however. Elon Musk originally claimed that as many as 75 percent of the company’s 7,500 employees would be cut. Later, reports emerged suggesting a 25 percent cut instead. If current reports are accurate, it seems Musk settled in the middle, cutting 50 percent of his staff.

For years, Twitter has proudly given its employees a choice. They can either work from home or alongside fellow staffers in one of the many Twitter offices worldwide. The staff remaining following the cuts will allegedly get a choice as well: report to a Twitter office for work every morning or find another job.

Elon Musk’s Reported Plans for the Future of Twitter

Elon Musk has yet to address the alleged mass firings himself, nor the shifting work-from-home policy. If true, however, the changes aren’t all that surprising. Though the numbers are shocking, mass firings were to be expected, considering Musk’s vision for Twitter.

As “Chief Twit,” Elon Musk is in search of ways to reduce costs while increasing revenue. When he first announced his plans to buy the platform back in April, Musk shared his plan to make Twitter private and cut back on the current workforce to bring in new talent in engineering.

Additionally, he hoped to make adjustments to the site’s content moderation policy to better support “free speech” and reduce the number of suspensions and bans.

The entrepreneur’s profit-driven plans explain both the mass firings and the impending changes to Twitter’s verification system. Those who already have a blue checkmark will receive a grace period of several months following the shift. After that, they can either pay the $8 a month to maintain their verified status or lose the checkmark.

The paid checkmarks received intense criticism, but Musk feels the move is “essential to defeat spam/scams.”

Musk explained that those with blue checks will also receive “priority in replies, mentions and searches, ability to post long video and audio, and [see] half as many ads” on the site.