Billionaire Elon Musk 'plans to fire 25%' of Twitter staff
31st October 2022

Billionaire Elon Musk ‘plans to fire 25%’ of Twitter staff in the first round of layoffs at the social media giant: Comes amid plans to introduce $20 subscription feature for blue tick

  • Tesla and SpaceX CEO completed $44bn takeover of platform last Thursday
  • Musk immediately fired Twitter’s CEO, chief financial officer, and head of legal
  • He is said to be considering laying off 25% of the workforce in first round of cuts
  •  On Sunday, Elon Musk informed Twitter engineers that they had little more than a week to roll out a $20 per month fee for users to remain verified
  • Musk tweeted: ‘The whole verification process is being revamped right now’

Elon Musk plans to let go a quarter of the workforce at social media giant Twitter in his first round of layoffs after acquiring the company in a multi-billion dollar takeover.

It comes as the new Twitter CEO allegedly issued an ultimatum to the social media platform’s engineers, telling them to revamp Twitter’s verification system within a fortnight or face the sack. 

Celebrity lawyer Alex Spiro, a long-time Musk legal representative, led the conversations about the job cuts, according to the Washington Post.

The Tesla and SpaceX chief immediately fired the social media company’s CEO, chief financial officer, head of legal, and general counsel when he assumed command on Thursday.   

The first round of layoffs will impact almost every department, and are expected to specifically impact sales, product, engineering, legal, and trust and safety in the coming days, the Post’s source claimed. 

Twitter had over 7,000 employees at the end of 2021, according to a regulatory filing and a quarter of the headcount amounts to nearly 2,000 employees.

Musk denied a New York Times report about laying off Twitter employees at a date earlier than Nov. 1 to avoid stock grants due on the day. 

Elon Musk plans to let go a quarter of the workforce at social media giant Twitter in his first round of layoffs after he acquiring the company in a multi-billion dollar takeover last week 

Elon Musk was pictured at Twitter offices carrying a sink

The new Twitter CEO allegedly issued an ultimatum to the social media platform’s engineers, telling them to revamp Twitter’s verification system within a fortnight or face the sack

Musk is pictured with Twitter employees in the office on the day of the takeover

After engineers, Twitter’s highest paid employees work in sales – with several earning more than $300,000.  

According to a report from The Verge, Musk wants to launch a pay-for-play verification system in which verified users are charged $20 per month. 

The kicker is that engineers have until November 7 to launch the scheme or face being fired. Employees were only told of the project on October 30. 

The Verge report says that the price of the verification is subject to change. The price will also cover so-far unspecified other features. 

Since Musk first offered to buy Twitter, the world’s wealthiest man has made it clear he planned to shake things up at the social media giant. 

Hours before The Verge report emerged, Musk tweeted: ‘The whole verification process is being revamped right now.’

Earlier, tech website Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that Twitter was leaning towards asking for verified users to pay for the privilege.

DailyMail.com has asked Twitter for comment on this story.

Musk also denied claims that he will be firing employees before they received their November 1 compensation in the form of stock grants.

He responded to the claims made by ProPublica’s deputy managing editor, Eric Umansky, responding by saying ‘this is false.’

The New York Times reported that employees are being cut off before the 1st as a cost-cutting measure, with the grants representing a ‘significant portion of employee’s pay’.

Musk fired four executives shortly after taking over the company, who had been owed millions under the merger agreement. 

Former CEO Parag Agrawal had been set to received up to $60million alone, but Musk sacked them all ‘for cause’ – though it is unclear his reasons behind the move. 

It is possible the firings could void the payout agreement, but the executives are ‘deliberating’ their next steps.  

Earlier, Musk insinuated that he regarded the New York Times as a fake news outlet

Since Musk first offered to buy Twitter, the world’s wealthiest man has made it clear he planned to shake things up at the social media giant

Both David Sacks and Jason Calcanis have appeared in a company directory over the weekend, and are understood to have the titles of ‘staff software engineer’. 

Musk’s official title is CEO, although publicly he has referred to himself as ‘Chief Twit’.  

There are close to 400,000 verified users on Twitter. Making them pay could help the platform stay afloat after reports that bots make up five percent of all users and ‘heavy tweeters’ make up less than 10 percent of the site’s monthly users.

Less active users mean less eyeballs for advertisers. During the court battle to acquire Twitter, Musk himself claimed that fewer than 16 million users are able to see the vast majority of ads.

On Sunday Musk took aim at Twitter’s board ad lawyers, claiming that they ‘deliberately hid evidence from the court’ – referring to his legal bid to stop the $44bn takeover. 

Sriram Krishnan, another longtime Musk associate, also tweeted that he was helping out the deal by investing $400million from crypto firm Andreessen Horowitz. 

Musk took further aim at the New York Post in tweeting a screenshot of a headline from NYTimes.com accusing him of posting a link to a fake story surrounding the assault on Paul Pelosi. 

The headline read: ‘Elon Musk, in a Tweet, Shares Link From Site Known to Publish Fake News.’ 

He quipped: ‘This is fake – I did *not* tweet out a link to the New York Times.’

Musk earlier deleted a tweet suggesting Paul Pelosi’s attacker was a gay prostitute he met during a boozy night out.

New Twitter CEO Elon Musk shared a link to a now-deleted article suggesting Paul Pelosi left a gay bar with David DePape early Friday morning before he was allegedly attacked with a hammer

Musk’s official title is CEO, although publicly he has referred to himself as ‘Chief Twit’

The tweet shared a link to an article suggesting the House Speaker’s husband left a San Francisco gay bar with David DePape prior to his assault. But it no longer appears on the new Twitter CEO’s page — just hours after it was posted.

He has now been accused of ‘caving into the leftist mob’.

Musk had posted the theory in response to a tweet by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which she claimed that the attack on the 82-year-old was the fault of Republican ‘mouthpieces’ spreading ‘hate and deranged conspiracy theories’.

‘There’s a tiny possibility there may be more to this story than meets the eye,’ the 51-year-old billionaire responded, sharing a link to a story published by an obscure outlet called the Santa Monica Observer.

It seemed to have crashed since the story was first highlighted by Musk, with would-be readers receiving an error page reading that the site’s webserver, Cloudflare, was ‘returning an unknown error’ according to Axios.

Musk shared a now-deleted Santa Monica Observer article written by Stan Greene

Paul Pelosi was able to call 911 alerting authorities to the situation as it was unfolding. He is pictured here with his wife, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in 2019

According to the Los Angeles Times, the same outlet previously reported that Hillary Clinton died before the 2016 election, and that a body double had been sent to debate Donald Trump. It also claimed that sunlight could treat COVID, and that Kanye West had been appointed to the Trump administration.

The latest story, which can still be accessed in an online archive, was headlined: ‘The Awful Truth: Paul Pelosi Was Drunk Again, And In a Dispute With a Male Prostitute Early Friday Morning.’

Author Stan Greene claimed ‘in his honest opinion’ that Paul Pelosi and DePape met at a gay bar earlier that night and went to the home together.

Greene offered no evidence to back up his claims, and police have not shared any information which confirms any of the claims made.

Pelosi was previously sentenced to five days in jail in August after he crashed his Porsche while drunk this year, but there’s no suggestion that he’s gay or an alcoholic.

Musk’s decision to share such an outlandish theory sparked fury on Twitter, just days after he bought the site and vowed to make it a paragon of free speech.

He had written in a message to advertisers on Thursday that while he wants the social media giant to become a ‘digital town square’ it ‘obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences’.

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