Twitter’s soon to be ex-CEO Elon Musk claims there’s more room to cut jobs in the tech industry. Musk cleaned house the moment he took over as Chief Twit, laying off thousands of workers. But it seems he’s now ready to beef up staff levels once again. In an interview at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in London, England, Musk said adding an additional 1,500 workers would be a reasonable amount. That’d still make Twitter’s total staff a lot leaner than the reported 7,500 tweeps that worked at the social media site before Musk’s takeover.
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Speaking about the recent and ongoing layoffs that have rocked the tech industry, Musk said, “There were a lot of people that didn’t seem to have a lot of value. I think that’s true at many Silicon Valley companies.” He continued, “I think there is the possibility for significant cuts at other companies without affecting their productivity, in fact increasing their productivity.”
In 2023 alone, an estimated 702 tech companies have introduced significant layoffs, and 199,047 total employees were let go, according to Layoffs.FYI, which also reported that in 2022, there were 164,709 employees laid off across 1,057 companies. Twitter was responsible for a large number of those. According to Business Insider, the company laid off 90% of its workforce and bringing its staffing numbers down to 1,000 from the 7,500 people who were employed there when he acquired the company.
He said in the interview that he had received pushback during meetings when he announced the mass layoffs, saying, “Twitter was in a situation where you’d have a meeting of 10 people — one person with an accelerator and nine with a set of brakes, so you didn’t go very far.” He claimed that Twitter’s functionality and features have increased more in the six months than it did in the last six years, adding that he will be hiring more employees and 1,500 seems to be “a reasonable number.”
Musk did not elaborate on the new hires but told CNBC last month that he regrets laying off some of the employees, saying they were not deserving and he plans to rehire several of them in the coming weeks, Mashable reported. It remains unclear why, if Musk is planning to hire more employees, he believes more layoffs should apply to other Silicon Valley companies. But in response to Twitter layoffs and why he believes there should be more layoffs in Big Tech, Musk said at the CEO forum, “There were a lot of people doing things that don’t seem to have a lot of value.”