Twitter starts mass layoffs as Musk launches overhaul

© Dado Ruvic, Reuters

Thousands of Twitter employees were ordered to stay home Friday to await a bracing round of layoffs that could see half of the payroll axed as new owner Elon Musk launches his major overhaul of the company.

A company-wide email seen by AFP said Twitter employees would receive word on their future at the company via email at the start of business Friday, California time.

The cull is part of Musk's push to find ways to pay for the mammoth $44 billion deal for which he took on billions of dollars in debt and sold $15.5 billion worth of Tesla shares, his electric car company.

Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX chief, has been scrambling to find new ways for Twitter to make money after his mammoth buyout, including an idea to charge users $8 a month for verified accounts.

The moves would help overcome the potential loss of advertisers, Twitter's main source of revenue, with many of the world's top brands putting their ad buys on hold, spooked by Musk's well-known disdain for content moderation.

The mercurial tycoon on Friday complained on Twitter of a "massive drop in revenue" that he blamed on "activist groups" that were pressuring advertisers.

"We did everything we could to appease the activists. Extremely messed up! They're trying to destroy free speech in America," he added.

(AFP)


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