Elon Musk plans to cut the workforce of Twitter by 75% if he finalizes his deal to buy the company, according to a report from the Washington Post.
Twitter has already announced this year that it expected “significantly slowed hiring” as the wider technology industry implements freezes amid uncertain economic conditions. Musk’s plans, if they went ahead, would reduce Twitter’s workforce to a skeleton staff of around 2000 people.
The drama over whether the Musk purchase will go ahead has already affected morale at the social media giant, and many have reportedly quit. The billionaire initially attempted to walk away from a $44 billion agreement to buy Twitter before reversing his decision earlier this month, insisting he would go through with the purchase.
Musk told investors that he was “obviously overpaying” for Twitter on an earnings call for Tesla this week, but said he believes he can turn the company around.
Analysts have already expressed concerns that any cuts on the level reported would greatly impact the platform’s content moderation and security capabilities.
Musk’s deal is still far from plain sailing, however. This week Bloomberg reported the deal was close to being finalized, but then also said the Biden administration was taking a closer look at Musk’s actions with both Twitter and Starlink.
The White House is apparently concerned about the risk to U.S. national security that Musk brings. His social media posts regarding both the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of an invasion of Taiwan by China have raised concerns. Musk suggested that Taiwan should cede democratic control to the Chinese Communist Party and also claimed Ukraine would be better off giving in to some Russian demands.
His direct dealings with the U.S. government with Starlink could be put under review if a national security threat is believed to exist, and control over one of the most influential means of global communication could also be called into question.