Twitter has laid off another 200 employees, around 10 percent of its remaining workforce, in the latest round of job cuts since Elon Musk took over last October.
The layoffs, announced Saturday, bring Twitter’s workforce down to under 2,000 – a sharp fall from the 7,500 employed when the billionaire first took over.
On Sunday, Musk Tweeted: ‘Hope you have a good Sunday. First day of the rest of your life.’
Saturday’s cuts targeted product managers, data scientists and engineers and include product manager and Musk devotee Esther Crawford who led the launch of paid subscription service Twitter Blue.
Crawford famously backed Musk’s ‘extremely hardcore’ Twitter 2.0 culture when he first took over, and was pictured on the office floor in a sleeping bag with a sleeping mask in November 2022.
Twitter user Richard Heart responded to Musk’s post, saying: ‘Except for those where today is their last.’
The layoffs impacted the largest number of people at the company since half the company was laid off in November last year.
Employees discovered they were set to lose their jobs after they found themselves unable to log in to their emails and work computers.
Musk told employees during a meeting in late November that no more plans for staff reductions were being made.
At the time, Musk defended the decision to fire 3,700 people, saying: ‘There is no choice when the company is losing over $4mn/day.’
He defended the decision, saying that all of those who were fired were offered three months of severance, ‘50% more than legally required’.
But staff suspected another wave of cuts was coming this month after they suddenly lost access to their Slack channel last week.
On Saturday night, some found they had been logged out of their emails and laptops.
The latest cuts primarily hit product managers including Crawford, as well as data scientists and engineers who worked on machine learning and site reliability, according to the New York Times.
Staff took to an anonymous platform for verified workers to detail the cuts as they unfolded at the weekend.
‘People receive email at 2am on Saturday and access cut immediately. This will go down as one of the most extreme layoff in entire corporate history,’ read a post on Blind.
The poster claimed layoffs hit the project management department the hardest and were spread across human relations, sales and marketing, engineering and finance.
Crawford, who before joining Twitter founded a small screen-sharing and video chat app called Squad, which Twitter acquired in 2020, was among those laid off.
Haraldur Thorleifsson, who created the design studio Ueno, which the company bought in 2021, was also removed from his position at Twitter.
Martijn de Kuijper, a senior project manager, said he found out about lay off after being locked out of his email account.
The dismissal of much of the product team has led some to speculate that Musk is preparing to bring in entirely new teams.
Musk flagged changes in November to turn Twitter into a more hardcore work environment, warning staff they will need to be on board or leave the company.
The billionaire has been shrewd and direct about the financial turmoil facing the company and made clear prior to his official acquisition that cost-cutting would be the number one priority.
Employees at the time were told they needed to sign a pledge to be able to stay on in their roles. Staff received an email that read: ‘If you are sure that you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes on the link below.’
It linked to an online form, in which Musk told employees that if they did not sign by 5pm Eastern time on Thursday they would get three months of severance pay.
Following that episode, the picture of Crawford laying on a brightly lit conference room floor went viral with the hashtag #SleepWhereYouWork attached.
Many online mocked her, saying sleeping at the office points to an obviously unhealthy relationship with work and that she would likely be fired within weeks anyhow.
As news of her firing broke, Crawford expressed her feelings on the platform.
During today’s launch of @TwitterBlue the SF team experienced two literal fire drills. The first one happened at HQ and led us to a Starbucks where we kept rolling out the release, then the coffee shop had its own fire drill — sending us back to HQ to finalize the roll out. 🤣🔥 pic.twitter.com/bYsJdZyVXs
— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) December 13, 2022
She wrote: ‘The worst take you could have from watching me go all-in on Twitter 2.0 is that my optimism or hard work was a mistake.
‘Those who jeer & mock are necessarily on the sidelines and not in the arena. I’m deeply proud of the team for building through so much noise & chaos.’
Many Twitter users logged back on to congratulate those who had been correct about predicting Crawford’s demise at the company.
In November, Twitter user moonpolysoft said: ‘Look, you’re gonna feel pretty silly about this once you get canned with 0 severance.’
User John Hamburger Jr replied yesterday to say: ‘This just happened’