From a secretive “conflict room” at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters final month, Elon Musk’s trusted lieutenants pored over an inventory of workers, exhibiting how a lot they price the social media firm.
The billionaire proprietor’s “transition group,” headed by Steve Davis, who leads the Musk-owned Boring Firm, then started to cellphone staffers. Some had been requested to justify their function; others to advocate which colleagues to retain.
These deliberations knowledgeable Musk’s newest layoffs at Twitter, as a part of his efforts to convey the lossmaking firm to monetary well being whereas additionally battling an advertiser exodus and unwieldy debt servicing invoice.
The February cuts eliminated greater than 200 workers however had been nonetheless broader and deeper than many workers had anticipated, as a result of they got here after Musk had already laid off half of the corporate’s 7,500 workforce following his acquisition of Twitter in October. The transfer worn out giant swaths of its enterprise growth and product groups, leaving Twitter leaner—and extra unstable.
This account of the billionaire’s ongoing efforts to wrestle Twitter’s funds below management together with his interior circle relies on interviews with present and former Twitter staffers, individuals conscious of Musk’s considering, and his public statements on Twitter and to buyers.
Musk, Twitter, and most members of the transition group didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Fashioned in November, the transition group has usually refused to instantly pay a lot of Twitter’s distributors, landlords, and companions within the hope of retaining down prices, in some circumstances irking shoppers and resulting in frosty stand-offs.
This push comes as Twitter is anticipated to roll out new fairness compensation packages for workers in late March, mentioned two individuals aware of the state of affairs. For tax functions, Twitter is within the technique of calculating a brand new valuation to cost the widespread fairness within the enterprise, which determines the worth of workers inventory choices, the individuals mentioned. One in every of them mentioned the valuation would most likely be far decrease than the $44 billion acquisition value.
At an investor convention hosted by Morgan Stanley final week, Musk mentioned he had minimize non-debt expenditures to $1.5 billion, from the $4.5 billion that he claimed it will have in any other case incurred in 2023, including that Twitter might attain optimistic money circulate by the second quarter.