Elon Musk’s Twitter began laying off employees across the company, after an internal memo warned on Thursday that cuts were coming.
On Thursday evening and 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 expected layoff notification. Some also shared blue hearts and hi emojis indicating they were in the business.
As of Friday morning, Twitter employees in departments including ethical AI, marketing and communications, research, public policy, wellness and other teams tweeted that they had been terminated. Members of the curation team, who help deliver reliable information on the platform, including elections, have also been fired, according to posts from employees.
“I just remotely logged out of my work laptop and deleted it from Slack,” a Twitter employee posted on the platform. “So sad it had to end this way.”
As Twitter employees posted about their layoffs, Musk appeared for a friendly interview at an investor conference on Friday and talked about making cheaper electric vehicles and his ambitions to go to Mars. During the interview, Musk said of Twitter, “I tried to back out of the deal,” but then added, “I think there’s huge potential…and I think it could be one of the most valuable companies in the world.”
The interviewer said Musk fired “half of Twitter” and Musk nodded, though he didn’t comment on the remark. He appeared to view the layoffs as necessary for a company which, like other social media companies, was experiencing “revenue challenges” before its acquisition as advertisers rethink spending amid recession fears.
Musk also said “a number of major advertisers stopped spending on Twitter” in the days after the acquisition was completed.
It’s unclear exactly how many Twitter employees have been or will be laid off. Twitter had about 7,500 employees before 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 works and tries to improve the company’s results after taking on a major debt financing. to fund its $44 billion acquisition.
The email sent Thursday evening informed employees that they would receive a notice by 12 p.m. ET on Friday advising them of their employment status.
“If your job is not affected, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email,” said a copy of the email obtained by CNN. “If your job is impacted, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email.”
The email added that “to help ensure the safety” of Twitter’s employees and systems, the company’s offices “will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended.”
The email concluded by acknowledging that it will be “an incredibly difficult experience” for the workforce.
Several Twitter employees filed a class action lawsuit late Thursday alleging that Twitter violated federal and California worker adjustment and retraining law (WARN Act) after previously firing some employees.
The WARN Act requires an employer with more than 100 employees to provide 60 days written notice before a mass termination “affecting 50 or more employees at a single job site”.
“Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has made it clear that he thinks complying with federal labor laws is ‘meaningless,'” attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the lawsuit, said. in a statement to CNN. “We filed this federal lawsuit to ensure Twitter is held accountable under our laws and to prevent Twitter employees from unknowingly waiving their rights.”
Musk began his tenure on Twitter by firing CEO Parag Agrawal and two other executivesaccording to two people familiar with the decision.
And in less than a week since Musk acquired the companyits suite C seems to have almost completely disappeared, through a mix of dismissals and resignations. Musk also has dissolved The former board of directors of Twitter.
On Friday, many staff members summed up their feelings with a hashtag, #LoveWhereYouWorked, a past tense play on another often used by Twitter employees.
– Clare Duffy and Shawn Nottingham contributed to this report