Twitter laid off at least 200 of its employees Saturday night, three people familiar with the matter said, or about 10 percent of the roughly 2,000 people still working at the company. Elon Musk, who bought the social media site in October, has steadily trimmed its workforce from about 7,500 employees as he tries to cut costs.
The layoffs come a week after the company made it harder for Twitter employees to communicate with each other. Slack, the company’s internal messaging service, was taken offline, preventing employees from chatting with each other or viewing company data, five current and former employees told The New York Times. On Saturday night, some employees discovered their corporate email accounts and laptops had been logged out, three people said — the first hint that the layoffs had begun.
By Sunday morning, the intent of the cuts was clear. Some Twitter employees used the platform to post farewell messages, while workers who kept their jobs scrambled to decide who else was leaving, using encrypted messaging services like Signal. By Saturday night, remaining employees had also lost access to the Google Chat service associated with their work email accounts, three people said.
The cuts affected product managers, data scientists and engineers who worked on machine learning and site reliability that help keep various aspects of Twitter online. The monetization infrastructure team that maintains Twitter’s monetization services has been cut from 30 to eight people, a person familiar with the matter said.
Among those affected by the layoffs are several founders of small tech companies that Twitter has acquired over the years, including Esther Crawford, who founded the screen-sharing and video chat app Squad and recently oversaw an effort to charge users for verification check scores. and Haraldur Thorleifsson, design studio Ueno, acquired by Twitter in 2021. Many of the founders received high compensation packages as part of their companies’ acquisitions, which could cost them more to lay off than their stock and bonuses. is being paid, three people familiar with the compensation packages said.
As of late November, Mr. Saturday’s layoffs are among the largest since Musk told employees in an internal meeting. Following a mass layoff in early November, Mr. Musk fired half of Twitter’s workforce within a week of owning the company. Small layoffs and resignations have reduced Twitter’s workforce to about 2,000 employees.