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Twitter tells staff not to believe 'rumors' about imminent layoffs under Elon Musk

Twitter’s general counsel responded to a Washington Post report that said Musk had told prospective co-investors he planned to cut 75% of the company’s staff.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Elon Musk told prospective co-investors in Twitter of plans to cut nearly 75% of company staff, The Washington Post reported.Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP file

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter is telling employees not to believe “rumors” that nearly 75% of them could lose their jobs if Elon Musk eventually takes over the company's owner. 

Sean Edgett, Twitter’s general counsel, said in an email to employees Thursday that rumors or leaked documents may not be correct and that they should wait for facts to come out, according to a copy of the email obtained by NBC News. 

The Washington Post reported earlier Thursday that Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX who’s trying to buy Twitter, had told prospective co-investors in the deal that he planned to get rid of nearly 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 workers. 

The newspaper cited corporate documents and interviews with people familiar with the company’s deliberations. 

“Please know, as we get closer to deal close, there will continue to be tons of public rumors and speculation,” Edgett wrote. 

“First, we do not have any confirmation of the buyer’s plans following close and recommend not following rumors or leaked documents but rather wait for facts from us and the buyer directly.” 

Edgett added that there were “targeted cost savings discussions and planning” earlier in the year but that those discussions stopped when Twitter and Musk signed a deal. There have been no plans for company-wide layoffs since then, he said. 

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the content of the email is accurate.

It’s unclear when Musk’s purchase of Twitter might be finalized. A Delaware state judge has given the parties until next Friday, Oct. 28, to work out their differences, or face a trial in November on how to resolve the uncompleted deal. 

But the prospect of deep job cuts at the social media platform raised concerns among some of Twitter’s users about how Musk’s ownership would change the service, especially if the cuts affect those responsible for enforcing Twitter’s rules, such as its policies against harassment or glorification of violence.