Last week, media outlets reported that Elon Musk planned to cut 3,700 out of 7,500 jobs and the new boss went to work quick. The Asia Pacific communications team, for example, was not spared as its Asia Pacific director of communications and Southeast Asia head of communications were among those who were let go. The Straits Times also reported that job cuts in Singapore also included individuals from the marketing, sales and engineering teams.
Employees were told last Thursday in an internal memo that layoffs would begin on Friday and that they are done in "an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path", ST and The Guardian said. Employees were notified in a second email about whether they were retrenched. Those who were retained were notified via their work email while those being laid off were told of the next steps in their private email, ST said. It is unclear how many employees in Singapore were laid off, ST added.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported last week that the layoffs impact nearly all departments, more specifically sales, trust and safety, engineering, legal, and product.
Separately, employees also shared on Twitter that they are leaving by using the salute emoji as well as the hashtags #LoveWhereYouWorked, #LoveWhoYouWorkedWith, #OneTeam, and #LoveWhereYouWorked. Twitter's offices in Asia Pacific span Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, India, ANZ, and South Korea.
The job cuts come shortly after a leadership exodus last week, when CMO Leslie Berland and chief customer officer Sarah Personette resigned. Twitter's chief people and diversity officer Daland Brand and head of engineering Nick Caldwell have also left the company. Musk also fired CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal as soon as his US$44 billion acquisition of the company closed.
Meanwhile, Twitter is currently facing a class action lawsuit from ex-employees who claimed they were not given ample notice under US federal law that they were being retrenched. Although staff were told on Thursday that they would receive an email in their personal accounts if they were being laid off, Bloomberg and The Guardian reported that dozens of employees started posting on Twitter stating that they had been fired even before the emails arrived. Employees had learnt about it after realising they were unable to access their work email accounts or log in to their work laptops.
While approximately half of Twitter's workforce has been laid off, the social media company is also doing an about-turn by contacting dozens of employees and asking them to return, proof that the job cuts were indeed rushed. Bloomberg reported that some of those individuals being requested to return were "laid off by mistake" while others were retrenched before it had occurred to the management that their work and experience may be crucial to help build the new features that Musk is planning for.
In response to the job cuts, Musk tweeted that "there is no choice when the company is losing over US$4 million per day". At the same time, founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey also took responsibility for the current situation, tweeting that he grew the company size too quickly and apologised for that.
Musk's takeover of Twitter has also left advertisers skittish, with several halting ad spend on the platform. While L'Oréal previously denied that it is suspending Twitter advertising, Audi, General Motors, General Mills, Mondelez, and Pfizer have decided to suspend advertising on the platform. IPG and Havas Media also recommended their clients to temporarily pause advertising on Twitter. IPG works with brands including Coca-Cola, American Express, and Johnson & Johnson, while Havas Media works with Michelin, Puma, and Sanofi, among others.
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