Musk ends remote work on Twitter and warns of problems ahead

Elon Musk emailed Twitter employees, most working remotely, ordering them to immediately return to the office for at least 40 hours a week and warning them of “difficult times ahead”. A pair of Wednesday night missives seen by The Associated Press marked Musk’s first company-wide message to employees who survived last week’s layoffs. Many had to rely on the billionaire Tesla CEO’s public tweets for clues about Twitter’s future.

“Sorry this is my first companywide email, but there’s no way to water down the message,” Musk wrote, describing a dire economic climate for companies like Twitter that rely on advertising. to earn money.

“Without significant subscription revenue, there’s a good chance Twitter won’t survive the coming economic downturn,” Musk said. “We need about half of our income to be a subscriber.”

Musk’s memo followed a live conversation trying to appease major advertisers on Wednesday, his most extensive public comments on Twitter’s direction since it struck a $44 billion deal to buy the platform from social media at the end of last month. A number of brands have suspended advertising on Twitter while they wait to see how Musk’s proposals to loosen content rules against hate and misinformation affect the platform.

Musk told employees that ‘the priority over the last 10 days’ was to develop and launch Twitter’s new subscription service for $7.99 a month, which includes a blue checkmark next to paying members’ names. – the brand was previously only available to verified accounts. Last week, an executive said Twitter was cutting about 50% of its workforce, which numbered 7,500 earlier this year. Musk previously expressed his distaste for Twitter’s pandemic-era remote work policies. On Wednesday, he ordered all employees to return to the office.

Musk told employees in the email that “remote work is no longer allowed” and the road ahead is “arduous”. He said he would personally review any request for an exception.

Twitter did not disclose the total number of layoffs among its global workforce, but told local and state officials in the United States that it was cutting 784 employees at its San Francisco headquarters, about 200 elsewhere in California and more than 400 in New York. more than 200 in Seattle and about 80 in Atlanta.

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