Elon Musk has fired another 200 staff at Twitter including the executive behind the revamp of its paid-for premium service, according to a report.
The latest round of job cuts equates to about 10% of Twitter’s vastly reduced workforce, which stood at 7,500 people before Musk bought the company in October.
According to the New York Times, Twitter sacked at least 200 employees from its 2,000-strong workforce on Saturday. The redundancies affected jobs including product managers, data scientists and engineers who ensure the site runs efficiently, the NYT reported.
Esther Crawford, the director of product management at Twitter who oversaw the introduction of charging for account verification, was reportedly among the employees affected.
Musk’s hard-driving approach to management was exemplified in November by a picture of Crawford sleeping on the floor of Twitter’s offices, which she retweeted with the hashtag #SleepWhereYouWork.
Twitter’s premium subscription service had a troubled relaunch in November after some users took advantage of paying for a verified account by launching a slew of impersonator accounts. Nintendo, the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and the US politician Ted Cruz were among the firms and public figures who found themselves being impersonated by accounts with blue ticks.
Twitter Blue was relaunched again in December and, according to news site the Information, has 180,000 subscribers in the US compared with a global monthly user base of more than 250 million people. Musk has identified growth in subscription revenue as a key target for Twitter, which relied on advertising for the majority of its income prior to his takeover but has suffered a plunge in ad revenue because of issues including the impersonation problem.
The job losses have taken place against a backdrop of financial uncertainty at Twitter, a company that has been loss-making historically and has struggled to generate the cash flow required to pay off the significant debts it inherited after Musk’s $44bn (£36.7bn) takeover.
The deal’s financing included $13bn worth of debt that now sits on Twitter’s balance sheet and costs more than $1bn a year to service. Twitter made the first quarterly payment on that debt in January, but analysts have warned that Musk needs to turn round the business in order to make the debt sustainable in the long term.
Musk sacked half of Twitter’s workforce, about 3,750 people, within days of taking over the business and hundreds more left weeks later after the Tesla CEO demanded that staff commit to being “hardcore” or leave. Musk said in December that his cost-cutting drive meant Twitter was is “not on the fast lane to bankruptcy any more” but he has continued to take action on costs in 2023.
Twitter has been contacted for comment.
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