‘It’s total chaos’: Elon Musk to start Twitter layoffs within hours – and offices are closed

US News

Twitter employees are finding out whether they are being laid off today – one week after Elon Musk’s takeover.

The social network’s offices are temporarily closed globally, and workers will find out their fate by 4pm UK time.

Those who are losing their jobs will receive a message to their personal email address, while employees staying on will get an email to their work account.

The company employs around 8,000 workers in total and has staff based in London and Manchester.

An internal memo said: “In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday.”

“We recognise that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward,” it said.

“If you are in an office or on your way to an office, please return home,” it added.

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Twitter said all badge access will be suspended “to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data”.

A Twitter employee told NBC News it is the first communication staff have received since Musk acquired the company on 27 October.

“It’s total chaos, house melting down, everyone looking towards this email,” they said.

Staff have started sharing messages of support with each other on Twitter, using the workplace hashtag #OneTeam – with one tweeting: “Just lost access to my Twitter email and Slack. This is so unreal.”

Twitter is being sued over the layoffs, according to Bloomberg, which cited a class-action lawsuit filed in a San Francisco court. Staff claim the company is in violation of federal and California law because employees have not been given enough notice.

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The company moved to reassure staff last month that there were no plans for mass redundancies after it was reported that Musk wanted to make 75% of the 7,500-strong workforce redundant after his $44bn (£38.4bn) takeover.

The Washington Post report said job cuts were inevitable, claiming there was a plan to slash Twitter’s payroll by about $800m (£715m) by the end of next year.

Musk has ordered Twitter’s teams to find up to $1bn (£895m) in annual infrastructure cost savings.

It has been a week since Musk walked into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters carrying a kitchen sink.

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‘Let that sink in’

The notification of layoffs caps seven days of purges by the entrepreneur.

He has already fired the social media company’s top leadership, which he accused of misleading him over the number of spam accounts on the platform.

Musk has also pledged to make getting rid of spam accounts one of his main priorities – but there’s another mounting exodus that he perhaps did not intend.

Fears over the Tesla and SpaceX founder’s potentially loose stance on content moderation has plenty of genuine users considering quitting the platform, including some celebrities.

He has also revealed plans to move Twitter’s verification badges behind a paid subscription, charging $8 a month as part of a Twitter Blue membership.

Musk, who had updated his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit” – and since changed it to ‘Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator’ – has said he did not buy the company to make more money but “to try to help humanity, whom I love”.

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