Twitter began a sweeping layoff plan on Friday after telling employees they would be notified by email within the day of their future with the company and temporarily closing its offices.
The move follows a week of uncertainty over the band’s future under new owner Elon Musk.
The billionaire said on Friday that the social network had suffered a “massive” drop in its turnover due to pressure exerted by “activists” on advertisers. “In order to put Twitter on the right track, we will have to begin a difficult process on Friday to reduce our workforce,” reads the email that Reuters was able to see.
The company has not indicated the extent of the planned job cuts, but according to internal plans reviewed by Reuters this week, Elon Musk is seeking to drastically cut costs and impose a new “work ethic” by cutting around 3,700 jobs, or about half of the workforce.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to two sources familiar with the matter as well as exchanges via the internal professional messaging service Slack which Reuters was able to read, Elon Musk asked Twitter teams to find up to one billion dollars (about one billion euros ) per year in infrastructure savings.
US President Joe Biden said Friday that Elon Musk bought a platform that was spreading false information around the world. “Why are we worried? Elon Musk buys a platform that sends, that pours lies around the world (…) There are no more publishers in the United States. There are no more editors How can we expect young people to understand today’s issues?
Chaos and uncertainty
A class action lawsuit was filed Thursday in San Francisco court against Twitter by its employees, who claim the group is firing employees without providing the required 60-day notice, in violation of federal and California laws. The social network also explains in the email that its offices will be temporarily closed and that access badges will be disabled in order “to ensure the security of each employee as well as Twitter’s systems and customer data”.
The group’s office in Piccadilly Circus, London, appeared deserted on Friday, with no employees in sight. Inside, all evidence that the social media giant had once occupied the building had been erased.
Security staff said renovations were underway, declining to comment further. Employees have tweeted that their access to the group’s computer system has been blocked and fear this suggests they have been made redundant.
Musk’s first week as owner of Twitter has been marked by chaos and speculation. The billionaire did not address staff or outline his plans for the group’s future.
Employees are trying to look for clues to their whereabouts in his tweets and those of his advisers, several staff members said.
Team leaders are currently barred from calling meetings or communicating directly with staff, a senior Twitter official said.
Employees have largely stopped posting to the internal work messaging service Slack for fear of retaliation from their new bosses. (
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