Elon Musk 'plans to fire nearly 75% of Twitter's workforce' once his takeover deal goes through
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As the SpaceX founder's USD $48 million (AUD $76m or £42m) deal is set to close by the end of this month, Musk has major cuts in place for the company’s employees, according to documents seen by The Washington Post.
The documents reportedly state Musk wants to let go nearly 75 per cent of Twitter’s 7,500 workers, which will reduce its staff to just over 2,000 people.
However, even if Musk’s agreement isn't finalized, the company still plans to decrease its payroll by USD $800 million (AUD $1.2b or £714m) by the end of next year, which would subsequently cut almost a quarter of its workers.
Bloomberg reported that in April, the tech billionaire told investors in his initial pitch that he planned on laying off a significant portion of the company's staff.
Reporter Kurt Wagner alleged that Musk explained to investors that 'anyone who is a significant contributor should have nothing to worry about'.
But data scientist formerly in charge of Twitter’s spam and health metrics and now CEO of Surge AI, Edwin Chen, said that a mass firing would be detrimental to the platform.
He explained that this move could expose users to harmful content such as child pornography.
He told The Washington Post: “It would be a cascading effect, 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.”
Musk's hopeful finalization of his Twitter takeover comes after months of lengthy legal battles between him and the social media giant.
In July, the tech entrepreneur said he no longer wanted to buy the company after accusing Twitter of misinforming him of the amount of spam and fake accounts on the platform, as per CNET.
In response, the company announced it would take Musk to court to ‘close the transaction’.
However, Musk’s claims were supported by whistleblower Peiter Zatko, a former Twitter security chief, who alleges that the platform had misled the public about its security practices.
In September, the former Twitter employee testified before US Congress that Twitter’s cybersecurity failures ‘make it vulnerable to exploitation’, which could cause significant harm to its users.
He said as per The Guardian: "They don’t know what data they have, where it lives and where it came from and so, unsurprisingly, they can’t protect it.
“It doesn’t matter who has keys if there are no locks.”
He also accused the company of being negligent regarding combating bots and spam accounts on its platform.
UNILAD has contacted Elon Musk and Twitter for comment.