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Twitter layoffs: Elon Musk's Twitter begins letting employees go

Twitter layoffs: Elon Musk’s Twitter begins letting employees go



CNN Business

Elon Musk’s Twitter has begun laying off employees across the company, after an internal memo on Thursday warned that cuts would be coming.

On Thursday night and into Friday morning, dozens of Twitter employees began posting on the platform that they had already been locked out of their company email accounts ahead of the planned layoff notification. Some also shared blue hearts and salute emojis indicating they were out at the company.

By Friday morning, Twitter employees from departments including ethical AI, marketing and communication, search, public policy, wellness and other teams had tweeted about having been let go. Members of the curation team, which help elevate reliable information on the platform, including about elections, were also laid off, according to employee posts.

“Just got remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack,” one Twitter employee said on the platform. “So sad it had to end this way.”

While Twitter employees were posting about being laid off, Musk on Friday appeared for a friendly interview at an investor conference and spoke about making cheaper electric vehicles and his ambitions to go to Mars. During the interview, Musk said of Twitter, “I tried to get out of the deal,” but then added, “I think there is a tremendous amount of potential … and I think it could be one of the most valuable companies in the world .”

The interviewer said that Musk had fired “half of Twitter” and Musk nodded, although he did not comment on the remark. He appeared to frame the layoffs as necessary for a company that, like other social media firms, was experiencing “revenue challenges” prior to his acquisition as advertisers rethink spending amid recession fears.

Musk also said “a number of major advertisers have stopped spending on Twitter” in the days since the acquisition was completed.

It’s unclear exactly how many Twitter employees have been or will be laid off. Twitter had about 7,500 workers prior to Musk’s takeover. In recent days, there have been reports that Twitter could cut 25% to 50% of its staff as Musk rethinks how the platform operates and attempts to improve the company’s bottom line after taking out significant debt financing to fund its $44 billion acquisition.

The email sent Thursday evening notified employees that they would receive a notice by 12 pm ET Friday that informs them of their employment status.

“If your employment is not impacted, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email,” a copy of the email obtained by CNN said. “If your employment is impacted, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email.”

The email added that “to help ensure the safety” of employees and Twitter’s systems, the company’s offices “will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended.”

The email concluded acknowledging that it will be “an incredibly challenging experience to go through” for the workforce.

Several Twitter employees on Thursday night filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Twitter is in violation of the federal and California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) after laying off some employees already.

The WARN Act requires that an employer with more than 100 employees must provide 60 days’ advanced written notice prior to a mass layoff “affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment.”

“Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, has made clear that he believes complying with federal labor laws is ‘trivial,’” Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement to CNN. “We have filed this federal complaint to ensure that Twitter be held accountable to our laws and to prevent Twitter employees from unknowingly signing away their rights.”

Musk started his tenure at Twitter by firing CEO Parag Agrawal and two other executives, according to two people familiar with the decision.

And in less than a week since Musk acquired the company, its C-suite appears to have almost entirely cleared out, through a mix of firings and resignations. Musk has also dissolved Twitter’s former board of directors.

Many staffers on Friday summed up their feelings with a hashtag, #LoveWhereYouWorked, a past-tense play on one previously often used by Twitter employees.

– Clare Duffy and Shawn Nottingham contributed to this report

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