Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey apologizes after Elon Musk takeover led to widespread job cuts

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey pictured in 2018 (AFP via Getty Images)

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey pictured in 2018 (AFP via Getty Images)

A co-founder of Twitter issued an apology on Saturday as he addressed the company’s widespread layoffs, following its takeover by billionaire Elon Musk.

Jack Dorsey blamed the thousands of job cuts on Saturday, saying he “made the company grow in size too quickly”.

Twitter began widespread workforce reductions around the world on Friday, with suggestions up to half of its more than 7,500 employees could be cut.

Its chief security officer later said the job cuts affected about 15% of the trust and safety department, compared to about 50% of the companywide job cuts.

Mr Dorsey helped found Twitter and served two terms as CEO, the most recent spanning from 2015 to 2021.

Taking to Twitter on Saturday after news of the job losses, he said: ‘I realize a lot of people are angry with me. I am responsible for why everyone is in this situation: I increased the size of the company too quickly. I apologize for that.

“I’m grateful and love everyone who’s ever worked on Twitter. I don’t expect it to be reciprocated right now…or ever…and I get it.

New owner Musk is believed to be keen to cut the company’s costs dramatically after completing his $44bn (£39bn) takeover of the platform last week, since he tweeted “we have to pay the bills one way or another”.

He tweeted on Friday evening that there was no choice but to cut the jobs “when the company loses more than $4 million a day”. He did not provide details of the company’s daily losses and said employees who lost their jobs were offered three months’ salary as severance pay.

Meanwhile, Twitter has already seen “a massive drop in revenue” due to pressure from activist groups on advertisers to leave the platform, Musk tweeted on Friday. This hits Twitter hard because of its heavy reliance on advertising to make money. In the first six months of this year, nearly $92 of every $100 in revenue came from advertising.

United Airlines has become the latest major brand to suspend advertising on Twitter. Chicago-based United confirmed on Saturday it had made the move, but declined to discuss why or what it would need to see to resume advertising on the platform.

He joined the growing list of major companies suspending ads on Twitter, including General Motors, REI, General Mills and Audi.

Musk tried to reassure advertisers last week, saying Twitter would not become a “free hellscape for all” because of what he calls his commitment to free speech.

But concerns remain over whether a lighter touch on content moderation on Twitter will result in users sending more offensive tweets, which could hurt companies’ brands if their ads appear alongside them.

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