Secondo The Washington Post, Elon Musk plans to lay off 75% of Twitter’s current 7,500, if the acquisition agreement goes through. Apparently Musk is giving these brutal numbers to investors, but some analysts are wondering will it really be the billionaire’s strategy.
Elon Musk wants to fire 75% of Twitter employees
By October 28, the judge of the Twitter vs Muk trial ruled that the two sides can reach an agreement, or go to trial. In other words, by the end of this month Elon Musk wants conclude negotiations to avoid facing a process that seems destined to lose.
Until the transition, or trial, ended, Twitter froze any layoffs (but also employee benefits). If we weren’t in the midst of a trial, Twitter management had envisioned a ‘downsizing’ of staff by 25%. With an expected savings of 800 million dollars. So there would have been redundancies in the social network, as seems to be the case for other tech companies too: Microsoft e Snap have recently given up a thousand collaborators, Facebook is “re-evaluating the performance” of 15% of its staff and for Intel we are talking about 20%.
But Musk’s hypothetical plan would fire three times as much the number of Twitter employees, moving on from 7,500 to less than 2,000.
The impact would be huge, even for users
In the past few months, some of the more caustic commentators on the Twitter deal have already suggested massive layoffs. Marc Andreesen and David Sacks thought Musk would had to lay off 6,000 workers, as they told Bloomberg in May. A figure close to that whispered by Musk.
But in addition to the devastating impact from the point of view of job protection, with thousands of people left without an income, users would also feel the problem. First of all they would demand safety issues. Then we would probably see a slowdown in the release of news (with Twitter which has been very active in the last year). And above all we might expect less attention of the content moderation.
This last point, however, remains in line with what Musk promised, who wants to decrease the controls on the moderation of tweets. In addition to reviewing iban as definitive as the one for ex-President Trump.
Maybe Musk doesn’t want to fire three quarters of Twitter (?)
If this Washington Post rumor seems credible, other outlets like the New York Times report instead that Musk wants to pass by a “serious businessman” in this agreement. Making that for Twitter also an image operation. So while there will be some layoffs (mostly for content moderation), Musk would like hire a thousand other engineers by the end of 2022. And within a couple of years it reaches 11,000 employees.
The fact that these two pieces of information are completely contrary does not necessarily imply that they are not both true. Given the recent changes of mind about the Twitter acquisition, it seems plausible to think that Musk is telling investors one thing and leaking another to the press. The truth may lie somewhere in between. With some strategic hires and with a lower number of layoffs, if only to avoid the inevitable criticism on social media.
If we add to these considerations the doubts of the White House on the peace plan for Ukraine proposed by Musk (which some advisers have defined as ‘Putinian’) and the possibility that the agreement for Twitter can be reviewed by the US antitrust, the next few weeks promise fire and flames. Even if an agreement arrives by October 28, the Twitter and Musk report will continue to make headlines for a long time to come. We will keep you posted.