Social media

Musk axes more senior Twitter staff in weekend cull

Elon Musk ordered another bruising round of jobs cuts at Twitter over the weekend, with some of its highest-profile leaders affected, as the social media platform’s chief executive continued his efforts to bring costs under control.

Dozens of staff were let go late on Saturday evening across teams including product and business development, with some notified via email and locked out of the company’s systems, several people said.

Among those hit were Esther Crawford, Twitter’s director of product management, who had been one of the few women at the top of the company under Musk, leading its new moneymaking initiatives, such as the Twitter Blue subscription service.

Headcount appeared to have dropped by more than 200 people in its internal systems, according to one person familiar with the matter and as first reported by the New York Times.

The move comes after Musk in November fired about half of Twitter’s 7,500-strong workforce and called for all who remained to sign up to an “extremely hardcore” long-hours working culture “at high intensity”.

Twitter was acquired by Musk for $44bn last year and made the first interest payment on its $13bn of debt in January. It is in a financially precarious position after its revenues dropped sharply as advertisers fled the platform over the billionaire’s approach to content moderation.

Many of those who lost their jobs took to Twitter to announce that they were no longer at the company, signing off with an emoji of a person saluting, in solidarity with their colleagues.

Crawford, whose video chat start-up Squad was acquired by Twitter in 2020 and who divided opinion when she shared a viral post of herself sleeping on the company’s floor in order to meet Musk’s deadlines, wrote on Twitter on Sunday: “The worst take you could have from watching me go all-in on Twitter 2.0 is that my optimism or hard work was a mistake.”

She added: “Those who jeer & mock are necessarily on the sidelines and not in the arena. I’m deeply proud of the team for building through so much noise & chaos.”

In response to her tweet, Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, wrote: “Thank you for working so hard to help lay the foundation for Twitter 2.0 Esther. You will be missed.”

Senior product manager Martijn de Kuijper, whose newsletter start-up Revue had been bought by Twitter in 2021, wrote on Sunday that he had woken up without access to the company systems. “Looks like I’m let go,” he said.

The Information first reported the cuts.


Business Asia
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