Musk plans to cut Twitter staff by nearly 75 per cent, according to leaked documents

Tesla boss was given until 28 October by judge to close $44bn deal for social media platform

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 21 October 2022 00:20 BST
Related video: Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for second time
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Elon Musk plans to cut Twitter’s staff by nearly 75 per cent once he has bought the social media platform for $44bn, leaked documents suggest.

The Tesla billionaire told prospective investors in his deal to buy Twitter that he intends to reduce the company’s staff from around 7,500 down to just over 2,000, reports The Washington Post.

The world’s richest person renewed his attempt to buy the company earlier this month after trying to back out of the purchase and has been given until 28 October by a Delaware court to complete the deal.

Twitter’s current board had already planned to reduce wages at the company by around $800m by the end of 2023 and reduce staff by 25 per cent, according to the newspaper.

Mr Musk agreed to buy the company for $54.20 a share in April, but by July had indicated that he had changed his mind, citing bot and spam issues.

Twitter then sued him in Delaware Chancery Court to force the deal to go through. In his letter to Twitter, Mr Musk agreed to pay the full price but said that was contingent on securing the necessary funding to pay it.

“The intention of the company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share,” Twitter said in a statement after receiving the letter.

If the deal goes through next Friday, Mr Musk would immediately become its new owner.

During Tesla’s quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, Mr Musk admitted that he was “obviously overpaying” for San Francisco-based Twitter.

But he said that he was “excited about the Twitter situation” and described the company as an asset with “incredible potential” that has “sort of languished for a long time.”

“The easy part for Musk was buying Twitter and the hard part is fixing it,” Dan Ives, a financial analyst with Wedbush Securities told the newspaper. “It will be a herculean challenge to turn this around.”

The Independent has reached out to Twitter for comment.

Mr Musk has suggested that buying Twitter is the first step in creating an “everything app” he calls X, which could be modelled after China’s WeChat.

He has also hinted that the platform will protect free speech and allow the return of banned users such as Donald Trump, whose account was locked after the January 6 insurrection by his supporters.

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