Musk is laying off more Twitter employees and looking for new ones for Twitter 2.0

Elon Musk is ending layoffs and looking for new software developers.Image: www.imago-images.de

Twitter shrank from more than 7,000 to 2,700 employees in three weeks. Musk was now answering questions from the remaining employees.

11/22/2022, 5:59 p.m11/22/2022, 11:55 p.m

The bloodbath continues on Twitter. Bloomberg Financial and tech insider Platformer are reporting that Elon Musk announced more layoffs in the sales team on Monday. Those affected received the notice via email: “After further reviewing our workforce, we have identified roles within our organizational structure that are no longer required,” it said. “Today is your last working day at the company”.

It is unclear how many employees are affected by the latest layoffs. Bloomberg writes that Twitter has shed around 5,000 of its nearly 7,500 employees in recent weeks, leaving around 2,700 employees on the payroll.

Earlier on Sunday, Musk held two meetings with the sales team. He did not respond to questions about whether there will be further layoffs. The latest layoffs were announced the following day.

As early as Friday, Robin Wheeler, previous head of advertising sales, fire. Wheeler, like several other top executives, wanted to resign a week ago, but Musk reportedly asked him to stay. Wheeler confirmed the termination of the contract with a farewell tweet her team. Some employees speculated that Wheeler was ultimately fired for refusing to suggest more names from her sales team for a new round of layoffs. Along with Maggie McLean Suniewick and Sarah Rosen, two other senior executives left the company on Friday.

Musk is hiring for ‘Twitter 2.0 – an Elon Company’

Also on Monday, Musk informed employees at a staff meeting that he was done with layoffs and that new employees would be hired immediately in the areas of software development and advertising. “In terms of critical attitudes, I would say that people who are good at programming have the highest priority,” he said during the meeting, according to US technology blog The Verge. The Verge reported last week that recruiters are reaching out to software engineers and asking them to join “Twitter 2.0 – The Elon Company.”

“This is not a right-wing takeover of Twitter. It’s a moderate wing takeover of Twitter.”

While answering questions from employees at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters for about half an hour Monday, Musk said there are “no plans” to move Twitter’s headquarters to Texas, as he did at Tesla. But it might make sense to have “dual headquarters” in California and Texas. Moving the headquarters to Texas would give the impression “that Twitter has gone from the left to the right, which it hasn’t,” Musk said. “This is not a right-wing takeover of Twitter. It’s a moderate wing takeover of Twitter.”

Musk describes himself as a libertarian, hates the state and unions. He declared himself in the political center. The fact that he is hailed by the extreme right as a hero of free speech contrasts with his self-image, or the self-image he is trying to convey.

Musk continued: “If we want to be a digital marketplace of expression, we need to represent people with a wide range of opinions, even if we don’t agree with those opinions.” (He did not address the fired employees who criticized him in company chats or publicly on Twitter.)

Musk and right-wing influencers

Musk takes a similar stance on free speech to that long held by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. What is not expressly prohibited by law should be tolerated. In this way, technology companies transfer responsibility and save costs because they need less content moderation.

Critics therefore accuse Musk of turning the social network into a breeding ground for hatred and radicalization without sufficient moderation. This accusation was fueled because one of Musk’s first actions at Twitter was to collectively fire about 5,000 temporary workers who worked primarily as content moderators.

In recent days, Twitter has unblocked various Twitter profiles of right-wing influencers and Musk interacted with them.

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Elsewhere in an employee meeting, Musk said Twitter should become more decentralized. He specifically talked about possible development teams in Japan, India, Indonesia and Brazil, as Twitter is heavily used in those countries. However, the goal is for Twitter to be widely used everywhere in the future.

When asked about employee compensation, Musk reiterated that employees should receive stock options. The new head of Twitter wants to push the remaining employees to peak performance with a view of the shares. He wrote a week ago that “extraordinary amounts of stock will be awarded for exceptional performance.”

Musk in crisis mode

After an initial wave of layoffs in early November, Musk last week gave remaining employees a choice between committing to overtime or leaving the company. He warned in an email that it would be “extremely tough” to implement his “Twitter 2.0” vision. Hundreds of employees resigned.

According to former Twitter employees, this mass layoff was planned and part of its plan from the beginning to transform the company’s culture as quickly as possible. The “harsh” email and Musk’s public animosity toward those fired may have accelerated the exodus.

However, it appears that more and more top people have left their jobs than Musk and his team anticipated. Many of the teams have been thin or sometimes consist of only one person, according to several US media outlets providing information to Twitter employees.

Musk then went into crisis mode. According to tech insider service Platformer, a ban on working from home was issued shortly before. Some particularly high-profile employees are said to have been incentivized to stay with massive pay rises. Musk also brought about 100 employees from his other companies to Twitter to fill in the gaps.

Fired Twitter employees are fighting back against their former employer. “A class-action lawsuit has been filed in the US, in Germany some employees are organizing through the Verdi union,” writes the technical portal golem.de.

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