Shane Obata discusses Twitter
Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal announced a hiring freeze and other cost-cutting efforts on Thursday, a reflection of the company’s state of uncertainty while it awaits Elon Musk’s US$44 billion takeover.
Twitter won’t hire new employees and may rescind offers already out, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg. Some exceptions will be made for business-critical roles, as determined by Twitter leadership. The company is also pulling back on costs such as travel, consulting and marketing, according to the memo.
Agrawal said global events, including the war in Ukraine and the supply chain crunch, have hurt Twitter’s business results and may continue to do so. The company isn’t planning company-wide job cuts, “but leaders will continue making changes to their organizations to improve efficiencies as needed,” Agrawal wrote.
“At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals,” Agrawal said. “In order to responsibly manage the organization as we sharpen our roadmaps and our work, we need to continue to be intentional about our teams, hiring and costs.”
Two of Twitter’s top leaders are also departing. Kayvon Beykpour, head of consumer product, and Bruce Falck, in charge of revenue, are both leaving the company. Jay Sullivan will take over as head of product and interim head of revenue. Sullivan has talked about re-focusing the company on fewer projects during recent team- and company-wide meetings, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Beykpour said on Twitter that it’s not how he imagined leaving the company. “Parag asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction,” he said.
A Twitter spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment. As Musk doesn’t yet own Twitter, he is not yet directly influencing the company’s decision-making. Larger competitor Meta Platforms Inc. also recently said it will reduce planned expenditures.
The changes reflect Twitter’s current state of limbo while it awaits a new owner. Musk, the world’s richest man and CEO of Tesla Inc., agreed to buy the company for US$44 billion last month, but the deal may not be finalized for months, as Musk is still working to secure the financing. On Tuesday he suggested that the deal could still fall apart.
That has left Twitter employees in a lurch, as many don’t know whether the projects or teams they are working on will be prioritized under new leadership.