Technology

Twitter closes its offices due to a wave of layoffs

According to The Washington Post, Elon Musk plans to lay off about 50% of the group’s roughly 7,500 employees. (Photo: 123RF)

New York – Twitter, acquired by Elon Musk last week, is closing its offices on Friday ahead of a global wave of layoffs that could halve the payroll.

“To ensure the safety of every employee and Twitter’s systems and data, our offices will be temporarily closed and access to all badges will be suspended,” the California-based company said Thursday in an internal email seen by AFP.

The message indicates to employees that they will be informed by email whether or not their job is terminated, without specifying the number of positions involved.

According to the Washington Post, Mr. Musk planned to lay off about 50% of the group’s roughly 7,500 employees. As soon as he came to power, he dissolved the board of directors and fired the CEO and other high-ranking officials.

To finance his US$44 billion takeover, the billionaire entrepreneur went into debt at a company that was already in a fragile financial position as it ran a significant deficit in the first two quarters of the year.

So Mr. Musk took out $13 billion in loans that Twitter would have to repay, not the Tesla boss.

He also sold about $15.5 billion of his shares in the electric car maker in two rounds, in April and August, and made $12.5 billion in loans against his Tesla securities.

One of Musk’s main revenue-generating ideas is the $8/month subscription, which allows users to certify their account, be less exposed to ads, and enjoy various benefits.

This project has caused a lot of criticism and wariness, especially among users who already have an authenticated account.

Mr. Musk also has to deal with the concerns of advertisers who are wondering about the risks of weakening content moderation.

Several groups have already decided to suspend spending on Twitter ads, including US agribusiness giant General Mills, US automaker General Motors and its German rival Volkswagen.

“Following Twitter’s announcement of a review of its recommendations regarding brand safety, the Volkswagen Group has advised its brands to suspend their paid activities on the platform until further notice,” Wolfsburg’s group confirmed to AFP on Friday.

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