Elon Musk to start cutting Twitter workforce

Elon Musk is to start reducing Twitter’s workforce today, the company has told staff, a week after completing his $44 billion takeover.

In an email to workers, the social media group confirmed it would “go through the difficult process” of lay-offs.

Twitter, which started the year with about 7,500 employees, plans to contact each of them by 9am in San Francisco — late afternoon in the UK — today. While the process is carried out, the company has temporarily shut its offices. It has sites around the world, including in London and New York.

The message to employees, which was signed from “Twitter,” did not set out how many would be affected by the cuts. Reports in recent days have suggested that Musk planned to reduce the company’s workforce by as much as half.

The lay-offs are being conducted “in an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path”, the email said. “We recognise that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is, unfortunately, necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward.”

Pledging to inform employees as quickly as possible, Twitter acknowledged it was “an incredibly challenging experience to go through, whether or not you are impacted”.

Musk, the world’s richest man, has sought to move rapidly in recent days to overhaul the social media platform. He has unveiled plans to charge prominent users by expanding its paid subscription offering.

Under Musk’s proposals, users will be required to pay to maintain the blue tick status which shows their account is verified. He has pitched the subscription at $8 per month but stressed the price would vary by country.

While the announcement sparked criticism from a host of prolific users, Musk said Twitter will “need to pay the bills somehow” and “cannot rely entirely on advertisers”.