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Twitter announces hiring freeze and cost cuts ahead of Musk takeaover

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Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal announced a hiring freeze and other cost-cutting efforts on Thursday, a reflection of the company’s state of uncertainty while it awaits Elon Musk’s $44 billion (R704 billion) takeover.

The social media company won’t hire new employees and may rescind offers already out, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg.

Some exceptions will be made for business-critical roles, as determined by Twitter leadership. The company is also pulling back on costs such as travel, consulting and marketing, according to the memo.

Two of Twitter’s top leaders are also departing. Kayvon Beykpour, head of consumer product, and Bruce Falck, in charge of revenue product, were both asked to leave the company by Agrawal, the two executives said in separate public posts.

Agrawal said global events, including the war in Ukraine and the supply chain crunch, have hurt Twitter’s business and may continue to do so.

The company isn’t planning broad job cuts, “but leaders will continue making changes to their organisations to improve efficiencies as needed,” Agrawal wrote.

“At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals,” Agrawal said.

“In order to responsibly manage the organisation as we sharpen our roadmaps and our work, we need to continue to be intentional about our teams, hiring and costs.”

Following the exits of Beykpour and Falck, Jay Sullivan will take over as head of product and interim head of revenue.

Sullivan has talked about refocusing the company on fewer projects during recent team- and company-wide meetings, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Beykpour, who is on paternity leave, said on Twitter that it’s not how he imagined leaving.

“Parag asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction,” he said.

Falck tweeted that he was also fired, then later deleted the post. A Twitter spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The changes reflect Twitter’s current state of limbo while it awaits a new owner.

Musk, the world’s richest man and CEO of Tesla Inc., agreed to buy the company for $44 billion last month, but the deal may not be finalised for months, as Musk is still working to secure the financing. On Tuesday, he suggested that the deal could still fall apart.

That has left Twitter employees in the lurch, as many don’t know whether the projects or teams they are working on will be prioritised under new leadership.

Twitter will move some existing employees away from long-term projects to instead focus on core growth for its main app, according to two people familiar with the matter.

It’s unclear which projects will be most impacted, but longer-term efforts at Twitter include things like audio spaces, NFTs, creator efforts and newsletters.

The company is not alone in trimming expenses; larger competitor Meta Platforms Inc. also recently said it would reduce investments.


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