Elon Musk's Twitter has identified thousands of employees who will be laid off, representing about 50% of the company's workforce


Employees at Twitter are getting closer to learning their fate under Elon Musk's reign.

A list of employees who have been selected to possibly get severance from a layoff action was being finalized Wednesday, with about 3,700 people having been chosen to be cut, according to two people familiar with the company's plans and an internal message seen by Insider.

Stack ranking of workers, a type of performance review, has been going on since shortly after Musk formally acquired Twitter last week, as Insider reported. Vice presidents were then tasked with compiling lists of everyone in their departments and choosing who should be kept at the company and who could be laid off. Those lists were then sent to Musk and his transition team, including his personal lawyer Alex Spiro, as Insider reported.

While employees have been kept largely in the dark about anything that's occurred during Musk's first few days as the leader of the company, layoffs are now expected to take place on Friday, the two people familiar with the company's plans said, possibly around midday. The people who spoke with Insider asked not to be identified discussing private matters. A Twitter spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Musk has already let go of the entire C-suite at Twitter and several top managers.

Should any coming layoffs amount to the 3,700-plus people said to have been selected as of Wednesday, that would see about 50% of Twitter's remaining workforce let go? After headcount swelled in June to around 8,200 at the company, hundreds left after Musk moved to acquire it, Insider reported, leaving it with 7,500 people as of late September.

Twitter has already undergone some changes under Musk, with more expected. Its verification process is being revamped to include a paid subscription, the short video app Vine which Twitter shut down years ago is being rebooted and content moderation practices are under review. But the workforce at Twitter has been subject to some of the most dramatic changes so far. 

Musk is known to be a demanding mercurial manager of his companies, which include Tesla and SpaceX. Now at Twitter, he is requiring employees to work "literally 24/7" to meet his product demands in short timeframes, with employees now handing off work in 12-hour shifts around the globe, according to an internal message seen by Insider. People looking to keep their jobs at the company are being told to pitch Musk directly over Slack with new ideas and be prepared to work with "maniacal" energy and "ship it asap," according to another internal message seen by Insider. Some people are sleeping at the office to keep up with the workload.

Are you a Twitter employee or someone else with insight to share? Contact Sarah Sulzberger at jobadvisor@email.com

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