Elon Musk's X is hiring again, CEO says. It had slashed more than half its workforce.


X CEO Linda Yaccarino said the social media company is hiring again after gutting over half of its workforce after Elon Musk took over.

"I get to come in and shift from this cost discipline to growth and what does growth mean? Growth means hiring," Yaccarino said during an interview with CNBC on Thursday.

The company does not have any open positions listed on LinkedIn or its careers website.

The former ad boss at NBCUniversal, who joined X earlier this year, said the company's operational run rate is near breaking even. She added that the company's relationship with advertisers — which had reportedly slipped since Musk took over Twitter — was on the mend and that some of the advertisers that had left were already returning to the platform.

"We're a company that has gone from 8,000 people and has gone through a very necessary cost-discipline exercise to about 1,500 people so it makes sense that there wouldn't be some type of impact of presence with these people," Yaccarino said of the impact of the layoffs on the company's relationship with advertisers.

The CEO also commented on her working relationship with Musk and added that the X owner gives her "autonomy."

"Our roles are very clear," Yaccarino said, adding that Musk works on the technology and product side while she focuses on "everything else."

Before Yaccarino joined the company in June, Musk had done significant bloodletting at the company formerly known as Twitter and called for employees to commit to working "hardcore" or leave the company.

More recently, Musk appeared to backtrack a bit on his cost-cutting efforts. In May, Musk told CNBC's David Faber that some "babies got thrown out with the bathwater" during the layoffs.

"There's no question that some of the people who were let go probably shouldn't have been let go because we simply did not have the time to figure it out. We had to make widespread cuts to get the run rate under control," Musk said, adding that the company might eventually even try to rehire some of the people they had let go.

In response to concerns raised by several media organizations, an open letter has been issued urging lawmakers worldwide to consider implementing regulations that protect copyright in data used to train generative AI models. The letter calls for transparency regarding training datasets and emphasizes the need for consent from rights holders before utilizing their data for training purposes.

The signatories of the letter include prominent organizations such as Agence France-Presse, the European Pressphoto Agency, the European Publishers’ Council, Gannett, Getty Images, the National Press Photographers Association, the National Writers Union, News Media Alliance, The Associated Press, and The Authors Guild. They express their concern that foundation models trained using media content disseminate information without proper remuneration or attribution to the original creators. Such practices undermine the traditional business models of the media industry that depend on readership, licensing, and advertising.

The letter also highlights the potential impact of these practices on media diversity and the financial stability of companies. By reducing the incentives for media organizations to invest in media coverage, the public's access to high-quality and trustworthy information is further compromised. The concerns raised in the letter are supported by instances where AI-generated articles contained multiple errors, including cases involving notable news organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp's The Wall Street Journal.

The legal status of training AI models on copyrighted material remains untested, and the issue has received attention in the Senate through several hearings. Lawsuits alleging copyright infringement by generative AI art platforms Midjourney and Stable Diffusion are also currently being litigated. Comedian Sarah Silverman and two authors have even sued OpenAI for alleged copyright infringement.

While acknowledging the potential benefits of generative AI for organizations and the public, the letter's signatories request involvement in discussions to ensure the respect of media companies' rights. The report mentioned that some of the signatories, such as The Associated Press, have already made arrangements to allow AI companies to use their material for training purposes. For instance, The Associated Press has licensed part of its archive to OpenAI and has been exploring the use of generative AI for news writing.  

According to an analysis by the TechServe Alliance, the number of IT jobs in the US remained relatively unchanged in July compared to June. After experiencing significant declines in IT employment from the second half of last year through the first half of this year, employment levels have now stabilized in the past three months. In both June and July, IT employment remained flat. TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts expressed optimism, stating that this stability may indicate a shift in momentum for the sector.

In July, IT employment decreased by 1,700 jobs (representing a decline of 0.03%) compared to June, bringing the total number of IT jobs to approximately 5.3 million. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment was down by 118,400 jobs in July, demonstrating a decrease of 2.17%.

Roberts highlighted that despite caution prevailing in the overall business community, there are specific regions and sectors within the IT industry that are still actively hiring. Computer systems and design services, management and technical consulting services, and data processing, hosting, and related services all experienced growth in July. These sub-sectors employ a significant number of IT professionals.

Roberts anticipates that once employers regain confidence in the economy, there will be a return to high demand for IT talent due to pent-up demand and a low unemployment rate of 2.4% in the second quarter.

In addition to IT, TechServe Alliance also monitors engineering employment. In July, engineering jobs saw a modest increase of 0.18%, adding 5,000 engineering workers compared to June. The total number of engineering jobs now stands at nearly 2.8 million. On a year-over-year basis, engineering employment has risen by 2.49%, reflecting an increase of 68,200 jobs.  

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