A week into Elon Musk’s tenure as CEO of Twitter, the self-proclaimed “Twitter Complaint Line Operator” is following through with his promise to make the company profitable. He started with widespread layoffs.
The first day Musk walked into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters as CEO, he fired the former CEO Parag Agrawal. In the days that followed, Musk also fired the company’s board of directors and installed himself as the sole board member.
On Thursday night, Twitter employees received an internal memo announcing layoffs. The memo said workers would find out by 9 a.m. PDT Friday if they still had a job. As emails notifying impacted workers started going out Friday morning, many current and now former Twitter employees used #OneTeam to tweet out messages of support for one another.
In classic Twitter fashion, plenty of critics used the hashtag as well. Layoffs at the social media company weren’t unexpected, but the number of people losing their jobs was.
A class-action lawsuit was filed preemptively against Twitter on Thursday, alleging the company would be breaking California’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) statute. WARN requires employers with at least 100 workers to disclose layoffs involving 500 people six months in advance.
On Friday, Bloomberg reported Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, said Musk was trying to comply with WARN by giving impacted employees extended severance packages. Some big-name brands like General Motors and General Mills are pausing their ads on Twitter, pending some revisions to the company’s brand safety guidelines.
Musk blamed the drop in revenue on activist groups pressuring advertisers, adding he and the company did everything they could to appease activists who are trying to destroy free speech in America. Exact figures on how many people were fired from Twitter, or how much revenue advertisers are holding back, have not been released.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.