According to four people with knowledge of the situation, Elon Musk planned to start firing staff from Twitter as early as this coming Saturday. Some managers were tasked with creating lists of who should be fired.
Three of the people, who requested anonymity out of concern for retaliation, said that Mr. Musk, who concluded a $44 billion agreement to purchase Twitter on Thursday, has ordered the company-wide cuts, with certain teams being reduced more than others. The magnitude of the layoffs was unknown. Twitter employs about 7,500 people.
Since Elon Musk decided to purchase Twitter in April, there have been numerous reports of layoffs at the firm. The entrepreneur, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has promised investors that he will take Twitter private, cut staff, relax content moderation policies, and develop new revenue streams.
Before employees at Twitter were supposed to start receiving stock grants as part of their pay on Nov. 1, there would be layoffs. These awards generally make up a sizable amount of an employee’s salary. Before that time, Mr. Musk may be able to avoid paying the grants by firing employees.
Requests for comment from Twitter and Mr. Musk’s spokesman went unanswered.
The 51-year-old Mr. Musk has made quick progress since taking control of Twitter on Thursday. On Wednesday, he arrived at the company’s San Francisco headquarters and started speaking with staff members. He dismissed the CEO, CFO, and senior executives from Twitter late on Thursday. He has also urged Twitter’s major revenue source, its advertisers, to let them know that the platform will be a reputable place to place their ads.
But Mr. Musk is taking his time to assess Twitter’s other features, such as choosing which posts to leave up and which to remove. While Mr. Musk initially declared that he intended Twitter to be an open forum for all types of criticism and that he would allow banned users, such as former President Donald J. Trump, to re-join, he made it apparent on Friday that such changes would not take place right away. Instead, he declared that he would create a council to address content-related issues and would delay the quick reinstatement of banned users.
On Twitter, some users who claimed the service was stifling their expression have been jubilant about the new ownership, while others are concerned that hate speech and false information will take over the site. Some users stated that they would stop using the social media platform now that it was owned by Mr. Musk, including the well-known producer Shonda Rimes, the executive producer of “This Is Us,” Ken Olin, and the showrunner of “Billions.”
Other Twitter users voiced alarm over an increase in hate speech reports since Mr. Musk took over the service. LeBron James of the National Basketball Association cited a study by the Network Contagion Research Institute, a for-profit organization that researches the dissemination of ideological content online, which claimed that in the 12 hours following the completion of Mr. Musk’s deal, the use of a racial slur on Twitter increased by nearly 500%.
Mr. James tweeted, [quotation]“I don’t know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns Twitter,”.
“But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary.”[/quotation]
Mr. Musk talked about food on Twitter on Saturday. He tweeted that [quotation]“fresh baked bread & pastries are some of the great joys of life.”[/quotation]