According to one report, the Tesla founder has stated to prospective investors in the social media platform that he’s planning to get rid of up of 75% of the workforce once his deal to acquire Twitter is closed. The news, delivered Thursday (Oct. 20), sent shockwaves throughout the tech industry. It was confirmed that the company had already planned layoffs among its 7,500-employee workforce in addition to shuttering key data centers.
A lawyer for Elon Musk declined to comment when contacted by the press, but the billionaire reportedly told people on an earnings call for Tesla that he sees “huge potential” in a slimmed-down version of Twitter. Industry observers, however, expressed their concerns over the potential severe cuts with some stating that a move like that could render the platform unable to function properly. Peter Zatko, Twitter’s former chief of security, had already publicly cited that the company was already negligent with cybersecurity practices on a grand scale in August.
Former Twitter employee & data scientist Edwin Chen described how such a move could affect the company: “It would be a cascading effect,” he said to the Washington Post, “where you’d have services going down and the people remaining not having the institutional knowledge to get them back up, and being completely demoralized and wanting to leave themselves.” Internal memos to employees at Twitter stressed that there are no immediate layoff plans.
Others see it as more bloviating by Musk, who has stalled wanting to go through with his purchase of the social media platform. He even made it a point to claim that an excessive amount of spam bots were causing chaos at Twitter, driving down the company’s value which caused him to pull back from the deal in July.
Twitter’s lawsuit against him in Delaware Chancery court was delayed as the tension between the two cooled off and the judge delayed the trial date to give both sides the chance to work out their deal. The closing date for Musk to complete the purchase is Oct. 28.