Elon Musk ordered company-wide layoffs at Twitter on Saturday, according to a report from The New York Times. It’s unclear how many workers will be affected by the purported job cuts, but sources tell the NYT that some departments will be affected more than others. Later on Sunday evening, he tweeted, “this is false,” in response to a snippet from the article, without specifying anything in particular.
Previous reports indicate Musk wants to cut down on Twitter’s workforce by 75 percent, although he reportedly told employees otherwise when he arrived at the company’s headquarters carrying an actual sink on Wednesday. Twitter currently has about 7,500 staff members, and as noted by the Times, some managers have been asked to come up with lists of employees to let go.
The layoffs could occur before November 1st — the same day when employees are supposed to receive their stock grants, which “typically represent a significant portion” of their pay. According to the NYT, Musk may not have to pay these grants if he lays off employees before this date. Twitter didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.
Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter on Friday and fired numerous executives, including former CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, upon assuming ownership. While each executive was supposed to get a hefty severance payout, a report from The Information reveals Musk terminated them “for cause” in an attempt to disqualify them from receiving their respective golden parachutes. The billionaire first offered to buy Twitter back in April, and later attempted to back out of the deal before changing his mind again earlier this month.
It’s not entirely clear what Musk plans on doing with Twitter once the dust settles, but he recently stated he wants the site to become a “common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.” Musk, a self-labeled “free speech absolutist” has had users concerned about the future of content moderation on the platform but said in a pitch to advertisers that he won’t let it become a “free-for-all hellscape” and plans on establishing a content moderation council.
Update October 30th, 8:34AM ET: Updated to add a rumor about Twitter executives’ payouts from The Information.
Update October 30th, 9:24PM ET: Updated to note Musk’s tweet regarding the report.