Pedestrians outside Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on October 6, 2022.
David Paul | bloomberg | Getty Images
Twitter’s full-time staff has dwindled to nearly 1,300, including fewer than 550 full-time engineers by job title, according to internal records seen by CNBC. About 75 of the company’s 1,300 employees are on leave, including about 40 engineers.
The company’s Trust and Safety team, which makes policy recommendations, design, and product changes with the goal of keeping all Twitter users safe, is down to fewer than 20 full-time employees.
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Under Elon Musk, Twitter has cut staff through mass layoffs, terminations and other changes that have forced many to quit, including ending the forever work-from-home policy put in place under former CEO Jack Dorsey.
Before Musk led the $44 billion purchase of Twitter last year, Twitter had a staff of about 7,500. Layoffs internally have been rumored and expected whether or not the Musk acquisition takes place. However, Musk has cut Twitter’s staff a lot more than many expected — or by about 80% according to internal records and a recent employee who spoke to CNBC.
According to an engineer who has resigned from the company, the loss of staff and headcount will make it difficult to maintain the service reliably while continuing to build new features.
This person, who asked not to be named while discussing a former employer, explained that the company’s code base is huge, and requires knowledge of different platforms and programming languages to maintain different parts of Twitter — ad services versus the core schedule, for example. They said that the skills of engineers cannot necessarily be transferred across all of them. This person added that it would be difficult to train engineers after losing so much institutional knowledge.
In addition to about 1,300 full-time employees, Musk also furloughed about 130 people from his other businesses, including TeslaAnd SpaceX and The Boring Company, as well as talent from mutual funds and other companies to work at Twitter.
Since the Twitter takeover, Musk has faced backlash from Tesla shareholders for his distraction, for stoking political controversy with his Twitter strategy, and for selling billions of dollars of his Tesla stock to fund his Twitter takeover.