Bought by Elon Musk last week, Twitter began a global wave of layoffs on Friday, which could see its payroll halved, and announced to employees the temporary closure of its offices.
“To help ensure the safety of every employee and that of Twitter’s systems and data, our offices will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended.”the California-based company said in an internal email on Thursday.
The message indicates to employees that they will be informed by email whether their job is eliminated or not, without specifying the number of positions concerned. But according to the Washington Post, Elon Musk has planned to thank around 50% of the group’s approximately 7,500 employees. As soon as he took power, he had dissolved the board of directors and fired the general manager and other senior officials.
Shortly after the layoffs were announced, Twitter employees took to the social network to announce their job cuts, sometimes using the hashtags #LoveWhereYouWork and #OneTeam. ).
“Has it already started? Good day before dismissal”thus launched Thursday evening Rumman Chowdhury, who presents himself on LinkedIn as director of ethics in machine learning at Twitter, accompanying his publication with a screenshot showing that access to his professional email was denied to him.
On the night of Thursday to Friday, five Twitter employees who had just been dismissed filed a class action lawsuit against the company on the grounds that they had not received the 60-day notice period required by American law in the event of mass layoffs (Warn Act).
To Twitter to pay
To finance its takeover at 44 billion dollars, the stormy billionaire has heavily indebted the company whose financial health was already fragile since it recorded a significant deficit in the first two quarters of the year. Elon Musk thus contracted loans amounting to 13 billion dollars, which will have to be reimbursed by Twitter and not by the boss of Tesla.
He also sold about $15.5 billion of his shares in the electric car maker in two waves, in April and August, and backed loans worth $12.5 billion to his Tesla securities.
On Friday, Elon Musk blamed falling Twitter revenue on “a group of activists who put pressure on advertisers even though nothing has changed with the moderation of content and we have done everything to appease the activists”. “It’s complete rubbish! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”added the bubbling fifties.
The new boss of Twitter must indeed face the concern of many advertisers, who wonder about the risks of a relaxation of the moderation of content and a greater place given to hateful or violent speech. Several groups have already decided to suspend advertising spending on Twitter, including the American agribusiness giant General Mills, the American car manufacturer General Motors and its German competitor Volkswagen.