Twitter founder and former chief executive, Jack Dorsey, on Saturday apologized for layoffs involving about 50% of the social media platform’s staff, announced by new owner, Elon Musk on Friday.
Musk on Thursday and Friday cut over half the staff, affecting almost every team at the company and involving about 3,700 jobs. As of June 30, 2013, shortly before the social media company went public, Twitter had approximately 2,000 employees, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. By the end of last year, the company reported more than 7,500 full-time employees.
Dorsey created Twitter in 2006 along with Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass. He sent the company’s first Tweet, writing “just setting up my twttr”.
Dorsey remains an indirect shareholder in Twitter, after rolling over about 18 million Twitter shares into Elon Musk’s X Holdings I. He has endorsed Musk’s purchase, saying in April when the deal was first announced that the company was “owned” by Wall Street and said that taking it private was the “correct” first step.
Elon Musk’s drastic decision to lay off half of Twitter’s workforce on Friday was driven by the company’s dire finances — with the now-private company on track to lose $700 million in 2023 if he hadn’t slashed costs, the New York Post reported.
Almost all of Twitter’s revenue currently comes from advertising, and Musk has been looking for ways to cut costs and make money in different ways from the platform, including plans to charge a monthly $8 subscription fee for users to be verified on the platform.
More than 60 civil-rights and civil-society groups urged companies to stop advertising on the social-media platform on Friday also.
Meanwhile many people who have come to rely on Twitter as a digital public square of sorts for politicians, policy makers, and journalists are debating their future participation on the platform.
Some social media monitors also wonder about Musk’s fitness to be a moderator of content on Twitter given his history of controversial tweets.