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Musk reduced Twitter workforce by more than 80%: report

When Elon Musk completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter in late October last year, rumors were rife that he would fire about 75% of the company’s full-time employees. While Musk rubbished those rumors, he was seemingly disagreeing with the precise number. Because the new Twitter CEO has reportedly laid off not 75%, but more than 80% of the firm’s workforce. According to CNBC, the social network biggie currently has around only 1,300 full-time active employees.

Before Musk’s takeover, Twitter had a global workforce of around 7,500 people. The new owner started laying off employees as soon as he was in charge of the company to reduce operational costs. The first round of layoffs saw about half of all employees lose their jobs. Many workers resigned voluntarily a few weeks later, following Musk’s ultimatum where he asked them to be prepared for a “hardcore” work culture in offices, with no remote work option.

There have been a few more rounds of layoffs since then. Overall, Twitter’s workforce has reduced by more than 80% since Musk took over the company, CNBC reports citing internal records. The publication says the social network now has fewer than 550 full-time engineers. Its trust and safety team, which is responsible for making policies that help keep Twitter users safe on the platform, is reportedly down to fewer than 20 workers. About five percent of Twitter’s 1,300 employees are on leave currently, including 40-odd engineers.

Interestingly, Twitter also has around 1,400 non-working employees. These people no longer work for the company but the social network is still paying their salaries. Most of them left their offices following the aforementioned ultimatum from the new CEO, the report states. They aren’t expected to return to fulfill their responsibilities. Meanwhile, along with the full-time employees, Musk has reportedly authorized around 130 people from his other companies, including Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, to work at Twitter.

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Elon Musk says this data is incorrect

Musk has always tackled speculative media reports about him or his companies head-on. He directly responded to this report as well. According to the Twitter boss, this data about the company’s workforce is incorrect. He says the firm currently has around 2,300 active employees, with hundreds of them working in the trust and safety team. Moreover, Twitter also has “several thousand” contract workers. There were reports that Musk removed over four thousand contract workers following his acquisition. Finally, Musk says less than 10 people from his companies are working at Twitter.

CNBC contacted Twitter for further clarification on this but the company didn’t respond. That’s not surprising since Musk has already dissolved the firm’s communications team. Either way, Twitter has severely cut its workforce under the new owner. Industry experts say the company may struggle to maintain its vast code base over a long period. There’s little hope of Musk hiring new employees, though. The entire tech industry is currently on a firing spree. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Meta, have all announced mass layoffs in recent months.

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