Elon Musk has now purged about half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, leaving entire teams completely or nearly completely gutted, including those tasked with defending against election misinformation ahead of the US midterm elections next week. , The edge has learned.
Areas of Twitter most impacted by Musk’s cuts include product trust and safety, policy, communications, tweet curation, ethical AI, data science, research, machine learning, social good, accessibility, and even some basic engineering teams, according to the tweets. by dismissed employees and people familiar with the subject. Other chief executives, including Arnaud Weber, vice president of consumer product engineering, and Tony Haile, senior product manager overseeing Twitter’s work with news publishers, were also fired as a result. of Musk’s dismissal of senior Twitter management last week.
“Shit’s gonna start breaking.”
Given the sweeping nature of Musk’s layoffs and his mandate to cut costs in areas like cloud hosting, employees who remain at Twitter said The edge that they expect the company to struggle to maintain critical infrastructure in the short term. “Shit is going to start breaking,” said a current employee who requested anonymity to speak without company permission, while another called the management firing process “a shit show. absolute”.
Musk’s cuts began Thursday night, shortly after an unsigned memo was sent internally confirming that the company would “go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce.” The affected employees quickly realized they were locked out of their work accounts long before they were notified of their work status through another unsigned email titled “Your Role on Twitter.”
According to emails sent to terminated employees and an internal FAQ obtained by The edge, affected individuals will continue to be paid and receive benefits until dates that appear to correspond to the duration of mass termination notice required by US federal and state law. If they sign a “release of all claims” document and separation agreement, then all US employees will receive one month’s base salary as severance pay taxed at the highest supplemental income rate.
Meanwhile, employees in other countries have been told that their roles have been “identified as potentially impacted or at risk of termination” and that they should continue to adhere to company policies until further guidance is provided. information is shared. The employee FAQ says “approximately 50% of the workforce will be affected” by the layoffs, confirming a discussion that was accidentally made visible in Twitter’s Slack two days ago.
Employees who were not terminated on Friday received a separate email to their work address stating that the company’s internal directory, Birdhouse and access to office badges would be closed until Monday, November 7. Before Birdhouse closed, Musk had listed nearly 90 direct reports, according to screenshots seen by The edge.
“He looks forward to communicating his vision for the company with everyone soon.”
“Throughout the past week, Elon has spent time with a number of employees, customers, partners, decision makers and Twitter users,” the unsigned email reads. remaining employees, according to a copy you can read in full at the bottom of this story. “He looks forward to communicating his vision for the company with everyone soon.”
According to Musk’s merger agreement with Twitter and an October internal employee FAQ seen by The edge, he agreed to pay the terminated employees compensation that would at least match what Twitter was offering before the deal was struck. The FAQ says that Twitter’s severance package before Musk’s acquisition was two months of base salary, or “on target earnings” for sales employees on incentive plans, as well as the performance bonus of an employee paid “at target,” a cash contribution for health care, and the cash surrender value of equity that “would have vested within three months of the date of separation.”
Some Twitter employees have already filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that it violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and California’s WARN law, which require companies to give advance notice. at least 60 days before a collective dismissal. others said The edge they consult with their lawyers about the discrepancy between Musk’s one-month severance package and what he agreed to pay before the merger.
Twitter had no comment for this story at press time. The company’s communications department has almost entirely disappeared since Friday.
Here are the full emails from Twitter employees who survived the layoffs received on Friday:
Thank you for your patience through this transition and for your commitment to the important work you do at Twitter. We are sending this email to confirm that your employment is not impacted by today’s downsizing.
Throughout the past week, Elon has been spending time with a number of employees, customers, partners, decision makers and Twitter users. He looks forward to sharing his vision for the company with everyone soon.
We know you probably have a number of questions and we’ll have more information to share next week. In the meantime, please note that until Monday, Birdhouse is temporarily offline, our office buildings are temporarily closed and all badge access is temporarily suspended. The offices will reopen on Monday, November 7.
Please continue to show respect to affected colleagues as we navigate these changes. As a reminder, we expect you to continue to comply with Company policy by refraining from discussing confidential Company information on social media, with the press, or elsewhere.
We look forward to working with you on the exciting future of Twitter.
Do you know more about what’s going on inside Twitter? If so, I would like to discuss confidentially. You can reach me by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form on my Linktree. Next, we can configure a secure thread on Signal.