Twitter is reportedly asking dozens of its laid-off employees to come back to work with the company again, days after it fired nearly half its workforce.
Some of the staff being asked to return were laid off by mistake and others are employees whose work may be needed to build new features on the platform that the company’s new boss Elon Musk envisions, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Merely days after closing the deal to buy Twitter for $44bn and becoming the new owner of the company, the Tesla and SpaceX chief began mass layoffs at the company on Friday that saw half of its almost 8,000 workers sacked.
“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4m (£3.5m) a day. Everyone exited was offered three months of severance, which is 50 per cent more than legally required,” Mr Musk tweeted on Friday.
Many of the company’s laid-off staff learned of their firing after they lost access to the company’s internal communication systems like email and Slack.
Before the layoffs began, Twitter’s staff were sent an unsigned memo on Thursday announcing that they would receive an email in their private accounts if they had been laid off.
The layoffs affected entire staff groups across the company, including its engineering, sales, marketing and communications teams.
Reports revealed that the company’s entire human rights team and machine learning ethics team were laid off.
Yesterday was my last day at Twitter: the entire Human Rights team has been cut from the company.
I am enormously proud of the work we did to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, to protect those at-risk in global conflicts & crises including Ethiopia,
— Shannon Raj Singh (@ShannonRSingh) November 4, 2022
Since taking over the company, Mr Musk has moved at breakneck speed to make several changes within the social media giant. One of his first moves included the firing of Twitter’s top executives, including its chief executive Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and legal chief Vijaya Gadde.
He is also working on new changes to the platform’s subscription service Twitter Blue to charge a monthly fee for all users seeking to be verified on the platform as means to create more revenue streams for the company and move it away from its reliance on advertising.
Teams working on new features, including updates to Twitter Blue, are reportedly being pushed to meet deadlines with some staff even sleeping at the office to meet their targets.
Folks at Twitter past and present are strong and resilient. They will always find a way no matter how difficult the moment. I realize many are angry with me. I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that.
— jack (@jack) November 5, 2022
Twitter’s co-founder and former chief Jack Dorsey apologised to employees on Saturday after the layoffs were announced.
“Folks at Twitter past and present are strong and resilient. They will always find a way no matter how difficult the moment. I realise many are angry with me. I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologise for that,” he tweeted.
Twitter did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.