Musk Warns Twitter Staff Faces ‘Extreme’ Workload, Terminations

  • Musk shared a tweet Saturday warning Twitter staff he’ll crack the whip
  • Insists he’ll still work even harder than them to turn company around
  • Tycoon plans to fire around 1,000 staff when he takes over in six months
  • But also says he hopes to bolster overall staffing numbers as firm expands

Elon Musk has warned Twitter staff they face ‘extreme’ workloads when he takes over – but insists he’ll still graft even harder than them to make the firm a success.

The tycoon replied to an earlier tweet he shared about his plans for the social media network Saturday, and wrote: ‘Also, work ethic expectations would be extreme, but much less than I demand of myself.’

His original tweet had outlined Musk’s tech-focused approach to running the firm, and said: ‘If Twitter acquisition completes, company will be super focused on hardcore software engineering, design, infosec & server hardware.’

Musk’s latest revelation is likely to prompt further wailing and gnashing of teeth among staff at the famously-progressive San Francisco-based company.

They’ve spent recent weeks moaning about Musk’s $44 billion purchase of their employer, with many claiming that the entrepreneur’s hardcore defense of free speech is ‘harmful.’

The deal is likely to be completed within the next six months, and has sparked widespread speculation Musk is planning a cull of 1,000 existing Twitter staff to boost profits.

Within the next three years, Musk anticipates making thousands of new hires, swelling the ranks to around 11,000 employees, up from 7,500 currently.

Much of the new talent is likely to be in the field of engineering.

Numbers at the company would fluctuate rising to 9,225 employees this year before falling to 8,332 in 2023. Then adding a further 2,700 workers by 2025.

Most of the jobs being shelved would occur during the takeover period, according to a pitch deck Musk presented this week to investors and seen by the New York Times.

On a company level, Musk has previously floated the idea of closing down the San Francisco headquarters in order to save money and that board members may also not receive a salary, shaving off another $3 million in expenses.

He has mooted turning the vast HQ into a homeless shelter in the vagrant and crime-plagued city, although it remains unclear whether Musk was joking.

The changes Musk makes are part of his plan to increase Twitter’s annual revenue by five times current levels to $26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year.

Advertising on the platform is set to fall to 45% of total revenue under Musk, down from about 90% in 2020.

By 2028, he plans for ads to generate $12 billion in revenue in 2028, while subscriptions are expected to pull in another $10 billion, according to the report.

Musk is said to favor a subscription-based model over advertiser funding, as it would make Twitter less beholden to advertiser pressure.

He has even suggested users could pay with cryptocurrency, including joke currency Dogecoin which Musk has long had an affection for.

Other revenue would come from businesses such as data licensing.

Musk has also tweeted about potentially monetizing tweets, although he has not provided specific details.

Musk also plans to see Twitter’s cash flow rise to $3.2 billion in 2025 and $9.4 billion in 2028.

Twitter’s cash flow with be increased by taking on $13 billion of debt as part of Musk’s buyout of the company.

However, he plans to pay down the debt and increase the company’s cash flow.

Last month, Musk started a poll on his Twitter account – which has more than 81 million followers – asking whether the firm’s San Francisco headquarters should be converted to a homeless shelter as ‘no-one shows up (to work there)’.

The poll got more than 300,000 votes in an hour, with 90% answering yes.

It comes weeks after Twitter bosses – who offered staffers the option of working from home ‘forever’ during the pandemic – reopened its offices on March 15, with remote work remaining an option for staffers.

Musk clinched a deal in April to buy Twitter for $44 billion in cash, in a move that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the Tesla chief.

The billionaire has promised to revitalize the company and expand the number of users by cracking down on spambots and reducing the amount of moderation to facilitate more free speech.

Twitter has been condemned for banning conservative material it deems ‘harmful,’ including the verified contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

After the closure of the deal, Musk is expected to become Twitter’s temporary CEO it was revealed on Thursday.

Among his other goals, Musk expects the social media company to bring in $15 million from a payments business in 2023 that will grow to about $1.3 billion by 2028.

As one of the founders of PayPal, Musk is familiar with the world of digital payments.

Twitter’s payments business today, which includes tipping and shopping, is negligible.

It’s believed Musk may also want to introduce payment abilities to Twitter.

Musk anticipates he can increase Twitter’s average revenue per user to $30.22 in 2028 from $24.83 last year, it added.

Revenue from Twitter Blue, the company’s premium subscription service launched last year, is expected to have 69 million users by 2025.

Users currently pay $3 a month to customize their experience on the app.

Musk hopes that plans to boost Twitter’s user numbers will also see more taking out subscriptions to Twitter Blue.

Musk, in a now-deleted tweet last month, suggested a raft of changes to the social media giant’s Twitter Blue premium subscription service, including slashing its price.

Other mooted changes include blue verification checkmarks for anyone who subscribes to Twitter’s premium Blue service, which costs $2.99 a month.

Twitter Blue, launched in June 2021, is said to offer ‘exclusive access to premium features’ on a monthly subscription basis, Twitter says. It is available in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

‘Price should probably be ~$2/month, but paid 12 months up front; account doesn’t get checkmark for 60 days (watch for credit card chargebacks) & suspended with no refund if used for scam/spam,’ Musk said in a tweet from last month.

‘And no ads,’ Musk suggested. ‘The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive.’

Musk also proposed an option to pay with dogecoin and asked Twitter users for their views.

On Thursday, Musk listed a group of high-profile investors who are ready to provide funding of $7.14 billion for his Twitter bid, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Sequoia Capital.

Musk has increased the financing commitment to $27.25 billion, which includes commitments from 19 investors, and reduced a margin loan from Morgan Stanley tied to his Tesla stock to $6.25 billion.

Musk, the world’s richest man, is worth $255 billion – but much of that money is tied up in Tesla stock. He is believed to have ‘only’ $3 billion in cash, Bloomberg reported last month.

He has already secured commitments for $13 billion in loans against Twitter shares.

Last week, Musk disclosed he sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla stock following his agreement to buy the platform.

Musk has also pledged some of his Tesla shares to banks to arrange a $12.5 billion margin loan to help fund the deal.

Reporting from The Daily Mail.