Who did Elon Musk fire from Twitter?

A number of Twitter executives have already left the company this past week.

Twitter’s C-suite has seen several other exits in the days since Musk took over and summarily dismissed CEO Parag Agrawal, who’d been in the job for less than a year since taking over from co-founder Jack Dorsey. Chief customer officer Sarah Personette, chief people and diversity officer Dalana Brand, vice president of engineering Nick Caldwell, and global sales vice president Jean-Philippe Maheu updated their Twitter bio or tweeted about quitting, while the departures of chief marketing officer Leslie Berland and head of product Jay Sullivan were reported in the New York Times.

Musk also dissolved Twitter’s board of directors, including Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor.

Does Twitter need to downsize?

Cost-cutting may be the need of the hour at the company which posted a $270 billion loss in the quarter ended June 30, 2022. Especially as the microblogging platform has been struggling to keep users engaged. Its ”heavy tweeters”—someone who logs in to Twitter six or seven days a week and tweets about three to four times a week—account for less than 10% of monthly overall users but generate 90% of all tweets and half of global revenue.

Musk has multiple plans to improve margins, including reducing Twitter’s dependence on ad revenues by charging verified users a monthly fee for their blue tick. Layoffs are part of that blueprint of saving money.

Speaking at a Web Summit in Lisbon, Changpeng Zhao, chief executive and founder of Binance—the cryptocurrency exchange that has pumped $500 million into Musk’s takeover—said “a slimmer workforce would make more sense,” citing changes like the edit button moving too slowly.

Twitter’s layoffs will only make advertisers more nervous

Most of the attention is on internal restructuring, but Twitter is crumbling on the outside, too.

The blueprint to make the user experience better is still non-existent, and an estimated 875,000 user accounts were deactivated since Musk took the reins.

Advertisers are watching nervously. Following in General Motors’ footsteps, drugmaker Pfizer, food company General Mills, carmakers Volkswagen’s Audi, and Oreo maker Mondelez all pressed pause on ads.

Broader tech industry layoffs affecting Stripe, Lyft

Since the start of November, a string of other tech firms also laid off workers citing economic conditions and market downturns:

Nov. 1: At 100 and 140, software management startups Gem and AI lending platform Upstart laid off a third and 7% of their workforces respectively.

Nov. 2: Real estate tech firm Opendoor laid off 550 people, or 18% of its workforce. Startups Chime and Chargebee laid off around 150 workers each. Oracle laid off 200 employees in its cloud division, according to Business Insider.

Nov. 3: Stripe and ride-hailing firm Lyft both cut 14% of their workforces, at 1,000 and 700 respectively.

These are only the latest in a string of companies that have been reducing headcount in the recent past. Meta and Google have adopted quiet firing strategies, while others like Microsoft and Snap have laid off workers more directly. Last month, real estate platform Zillow and delivery startup Gopuff slashed hundreds of jobs to save on costs and up efficiency.

Nearly 17,000 people from 138 companies have been laid off since the start of this year.

And its not a US-centric problem. In Canada, Dapper labs—the creator of NFTs CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot—and Hootsuite have been cutting staff, too.

What “good people at good companies” being axed hints at is a “really alarming macro story unfolding,” tweeted Michael Solana, vice president at San Francisco-based VC firm Founders Fund. “Anyone even remotely keyed into the economy is bracing for a long winter.”

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