At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me whatsoever if Elon Musk began his first day fully in control of Twitter — whenever that day does, finally, arrive — by sauntering through the elevator doors at Twitter HQ and reenacting the Ari Gold paintball scene from Entourage. That’s because the latest turn of events in the ongoing saga of his deal to buy Twitter, a company for which Elon himself has acknowledged he’s “obviously overpaying,” finds him reportedly wanting to axe almost 75% of the company’s workforce.
That would mean laying off several thousand employees, leaving the company with a staff of around 2,000 or so. Twitter’s general counsel, for his part, sent out an email to employees on Thursday, promising that no mass layoffs are in the works right now. Though, to be sure, the internal deliberations of Twitter’s new billionaire owner, who seems to think that too many people work at the company that sued him to acquire it, are another matter.
Elon Twitter deal update: Mass layoffs coming?
As you can imagine, the internet promptly melted down over this news, as it usually does whenever there’s a new Elon-related headline — whether about his purchase of the social network, or anything else.
While everyone was reacting to the prospect of potential layoffs on Thursday, by the way, the Tesla CEO himself used his own Twitter account to throw shade at one of his favorite targets (the SEC); to weigh in on whether COVID vaccine recommendations deserve more scrutiny; and to share a crying laughter emoji about the possibility of the US government putting his acquisition under a national security review.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, the future owner of Twitter also congratulated former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for his dig at the just-resigned British Prime Minister Liz Truss. “Bye, bye @trussliz, congrats to lettuce.” Replied Musk: “Pretty good troll tbh”.
Me after Elon Musk takes over Twitter: pic.twitter.com/jD8ruvzHdz
— Omari Hardy (@OmariJHardy) October 21, 2022
Just 24 hours earlier, during Tesla’s earnings call on Wednesday, Musk told investors: “The long-term potential for Twitter, in my view, is an order of magnitude greater than its current value.” And then came the news that he thinks the company employs way too many people.
One important thing to keep in mind: Elon has until October 28 to close this deal. If he doesn’t, he and the company will be back in court to keep fighting over the terms of his original offer — $54.20 a share for the company, which amounts to a takeover offer of $44 billion.
Honestly the best thing for my writing career would be if Elon Musk destroys Twitter and I'm forced to re-teach myself long form writing
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) October 21, 2022
What if Elon is replacing 75% of Twitter employees with his massive AI network, which will then absorb all known tweets and become really annoying and triggered by literally anything? You want *THAT* to drive me around??? #FSD pic.twitter.com/bLGL33LkuZ
— PhotographicFloridian (@JackLinFLL) October 21, 2022
75% OF TWITTER pic.twitter.com/mElZgjuBmV
— beeple (@beeple) October 21, 2022
I hope Elon burns twitter to the ground. He’s got the money to spend and besides, he can use it as a tax write off for the greater good of humanity
— Thomas Magnum (@TomMagnum_Pi) October 21, 2022
I will not let you down, no matter what it takes
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 19, 2022