Musk plans to cut nearly 75 percent of Twitter’s workforce

The planned layoffs at an Elon Musk-owned Twitter are far larger than originally disclosed
Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco, California. 
Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco, California. 
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter appear to include slashing the company’s headcount by roughly 75% assuming the billionaire closes the deal to buy Twitter. The Washington Post reported on Oct. 20 that Musk plans to cut Twitter’s staff from 7,500 workers to 2,000, far more than previous expectations. Musk is expected to close his acquisition of the social media company for $44 billion by October 28.

Many of Twitter workers already knew they were likely to get fired. A series of text messages between Musk and investors revealed during September court proceedings floated reducing Twitter’s staff. On April 15, Musk wrote that he saw “insane potential for improvement” by slashing headcount, although he did not mention the toll this might take on Twitter’s performance or morale. “My biggest concern is headcount and expense growth,” Musk wrote. “Twitter has ~3x the headcount per unit of revenue of other social media companies, which is very unhealthy in my view.”

He also noted Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal will likely be among the first to go.“Parag is just moving far too slowly and trying to please people who will not be happy no matter what he does,” Musk wrote. The messages emerged as part of Twitter’s lawsuit to prevent Musk from backing out of the deal and outlined a number of potential plans for the social media giant.

Twitter has already seen an exodus of executives and staff, but the most recent news will likely accelerate departures. In the text exchanges, Musk hinted his primary focus will be on hiring software engineers, without detailing the fate of Twitter’s existing engineering staff. If so, this will mirror Musk’s focus on product and software engineers at his other companies, SpaceX and Tesla, where Musk serves as chief executive.