Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s chemistry with Twitter gets more intriguing day by day. The maverick technocrat’s "public bullying" on Twitter has generated much curiosity and become a hot topic on social media.
The latest report surrounding Musk’s reported plans to fire a staggering 75% of Twitter’s staff after he acquires the popular social media platform has created a buzz.
There has been much talk about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s reported $44 billion takeover bid on Twitter for quite some time. The tech titan has time and again ruffled Twitter's feathers with his takeover overtures, which have sent ripples through the industry.
The latest report by the Washington Post, which claims that the Tesla CEO plans to cut Twitter’s staff by a draconian 75% once he buys the company, has threatened to rattle the social media giant.
According to the report, Musk already made his intentions known to prospective investors in his deal to buy the company by saying that he planned to get rid of nearly 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 workers. Musk’s plans to “whittle the company down to a skeleton staff” of just over 2,000 have created a buzz.
The news of Tesla CEO’s drastic job cuts plans comes at a time when Twitter is learnt to have been already planning to slash employees’ payroll by some $800 million by the end of next year. The social media giant’s plan will result in a reduction of about 25% of the workforce.
The report quoted data scientist Edwin Chen, who said Musk’s cuts would have an “unimaginable” impact on content. The data scientist, in charge of Twitter’s spam and health metrics, expressed fears that such cuts would put Twitter’s millions of users at risk of hacks and exposure to offensive material.
Musk made a $44 billion bid for Twitter in April. Twitter, however, sought to allay such fears among staff by assuring them that there are no plans for company-wide layoffs since it signed a deal to be acquired by billionaire Elon Musk.
As the closing of the deal nears, Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett asked workers not to pay heed to “tons of public rumours and speculation” as the closing of the deal nears.
Edgett said, "We do not have any confirmation of the buyer’s plans following the close and recommend not following rumours or leaked documents but rather waiting for facts from us and the buyer directly."
Musk Vs Twitter
Earlier, the Tesla CEO tried to walk away from his deal to buy Twitter. Later, he sounded optimistic about the purchase.
"I'm excited about the Twitter situation, because obviously, I know their product very well," Musk said on Tesla's earnings call on October 19.
"I think it's an asset that has sort of languished for a long time but has incredible potential."
Soon after Musk, the world's richest person, offered to buy Twitter in April, the micro-blogging site resisted before accepting the offer and urging shareholders to approve the deal.
In July, Musk said he wanted to scrap the deal—mainly due to a dispute over the number of spam and fake accounts on Twitter's platform. The social media platform sued to force Musk to follow through.
After several tumultuous months and spending an estimated $100 million in personal legal fees, Musk again offered to buy Twitter for his original asking price earlier this month.
The deal is set to close by October 28. After a "bitter spat" with Twitter leadership at length, both in court filings and on the platform itself, Musk has made an abrupt U-turn.
"Although myself and other investors are overpaying for Twitter right now, the long-term potential for Twitter, in my view, is an order of magnitude greater than its current value," Musk said this week.
He has also announced his plans for the platform very clearly right from when he started talking about the takeover. Musk wants to turn the platform into one that promotes “free speech” and is willing to tweak its moderation policies to achieve the goal, he said. He even mentioned wanting to make its algorithm open source and increase the revenue per user.
Musk and a group of investors will pay $54.20 per share for Twitter. Shares closed on October 19 at $51.83; they were trading below $43 in early October before Musk said he would complete the deal.