Twitter’s much dreaded pink slip trended all day at the social networking giant’s own platform even as its offices around the world — San Fancisco headquarters at downtown Market Street to TEC Qutab in New Delhi — wore a mandated deserted look.
Within days of Elon Musk taking over as Twitter boss after a $44-billion deal, the company sent out a memo to its staff Thursday night, telling them how they will know whether they’ve been fired or retained in the organisation. By Friday evening, the news was out that a large majority of employees at Twitter India had been fired. There was, however, no official confirmation. An email sent to the company remained unanswered.
The lay-offs in India were across segments such as policy, communication, engineering and development, said sources in the know. The total staff strength in Twitter India is estimated at around 200.
Bloomberg had earlier reported that Musk plans to cut about 3,700 jobs or half of the company’s global workforce in a bid to cut cost.
“Those who cannot log into their systems are laid off. I have not been able to log into my system. A large majority of people in India have been laid off,” said a senior executive at Twitter India on the condition of anonymity.
When this correspondent visited the Delhi office located in Mehrauli on Friday, an air of silence greeted him. In line with the global mandate, Twitter India offices too were shut, as a precautionary step on the day of mass lay-offs.
A security guard at the complex confirmed that the New Delhi office was locked since Thursday afternoon. In any case, very few people were attending office regularly ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
People in the know had earlier in the day described the mood among India employees as very fearful. ‘’Nobody knows if they will have a job tomorrow and the fear of getting fired just got real,” an employee had told BS ahead of the lay-off email.
Even as employees are getting sacked, Twitter has been sued in a class action lawsuit by laid-off employees. The case has been filed in the San Francisco Federal Court, said a report by Bloomberg. The workers have alleged that not enough notice period was given to them, which goes against federal and California law.
In an email alert to its employees, the company had said: “Given the nature of our distributed workforce and our desire to inform impacted individuals as quickly as possible, communications for this process will take place via email. By 9 a.m PST on Friday (Nov 4), everyone will receive an individual email with the subject line: Your Role at Twitter. Please check your mail including your spam folder.”
The company had said earlier that its offices will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended. “If you are in an office or on your way to office, please return home,” said the email.
One of those lucky ones, who retained his job, said in a tweet: “I got the email… I still have a job but I stayed up last night watching hard-working, talented, caring people get logged out one by one and I don’t know what to say. Tweeps, you are remarkable.”
Another employee who got laid off, with handle Dawn ‘Yohosie’ Hosie, tweeted: “I have been laid off from Twitter, as has my team. We were responsible for creating much of the advertiser content you see on Twitter…..”
(Inputs from Shivani Shinde)
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