In context: Twitter has denied reports that it is planning major reductions to its workforce over the next couple of months, no matter who owns the company. The same source claims that if Elon Musk is at the helm, the layoffs will hit a massive 75% of Twitter's entire staff, equal to around 5,000 people.
According to The Washington Post, which cites interviews and documents obtained by the publication, Twitter is following in the footsteps of other tech giants in cutting its workforce during these times of economic uncertainty.
The Post writes that should Musk's acquisition fall apart, something that looks highly unlikely given his recent comments about the platform's potential, Twitter's current management plans to cut the payroll by $800 million by the end of the year. That would see around a quarter of its staff laid off, impacting 1,900 people. The company is also planning "major" infrastructure cuts that include data center closures.
That sounds quite extreme, but the Post reports that things will be much worse if Musk's takeover, set to complete by October 28, goes through. The billionaire told investors that 75% of staff would lose their jobs, leaving just under 2,000 people working for Twitter. Such an enormous reduction in staff could lead to an increase in cybersecurity incidents, technical problems, and moderation failures at Twitter.
The company has now responded to the report. In a memo seen by Bloomberg, Twitter General Counsel Sean Edgett said, "We do not have any confirmation of the buyer's plans following close and recommend not following rumors or leaked documents but rather wait for facts from us and the buyer directly."
Edgett has also warned staff they can expect "tons of public rumors and speculation" as the deal nears completion.
Bloomberg writes that it has confirmed potential investors were told about plans for the cuts, along with an intention to double revenue within three years.
Edgett said the discussions over cost-cutting and layoffs took place earlier this year but stopped once the merger agreement was signed. "Since the merger agreement has been in place, there have been no plans for any companywide layoffs," he said.
Earlier this year, Musk said he was in favor of cutting staff numbers at Twitter. He's also been clear about his intent to make the site a bastion of free speech with less moderation.