Full-Time Twitter Engineers Trimmed to Under 550: Report
Twitter has been whittled down to just under 550 full-time engineers by its new owner and CEO Elon Musk, according to a report from CNBC.
The numbers come from internal records viewed by the publication. Per these documents, the social media company currently only has about 1,300 full-time, working employees. Of these, around 75 workers, including 40 engineers, are currently on leave.
CNBC also learned that Twitter’s trust and safety team, which oversees the platform’s user safety policy and makes design and product changes, has fewer than 20 full-time employees.
Furthermore, Twitter is also still paying salaries to about 1,400 non-working employees who are no longer working at their old positions. Many of these workers resigned when Musk gave staff an ultimatum to commit to working “long hours at high intensity” at an “extremely hardcore” Twitter 2.0 or leave with three months of severance. That was a little over two months ago.
Musk, meanwhile, contradicted CNBC‘s report in a Saturday tweet, saying the publication’s figures are “incorrect.” The celebrity billionaire clarified that Twitter actually has about 2,300 active, full-time employees.
Musk added that “hundreds of employees” are currently working on Twitter’s trust and safety team, along with thousands of contractors, and that fewer than 10 employees from his other companies are working at Twitter.
The note is incorrect. There are ~2300 active, working employees at Twitter.
There are still hundreds of employees working on trust & safety, along with several thousand contractors.
Less than 10 people from my other companies are working at Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2023
Since taking over Twitter in October 2022, Musk has cleaved the majority of the company’s workforce through layoffs and major changes that resulted in many resigning voluntarily.
If CNBC‘s numbers are accurate, Twitter’s current staff is less than 20% of the 7,500-strong workforce the company had before Musk’s buyout. Going by Musk’s numbers, though, the company has retained about 30% of its employees.
Musk has axed far more than just employees since taking over Twitter. He banned several journalists from the platform last month, briefly outlawed the promotion of rival social media platforms, and scrapped third-party Twitter clients altogether.
According to one former Twitter engineer who talked to CNBC, the popular social media platform has a massive code base and the significant downsizing could make it harder to maintain the service reliably while also developing new features.