Since taking over Twitter, Elon Musk has laid off over 6,000 employees, he told the BBC in a rare interview on Tuesday night.
Musk was quoted in the interview as saying that the social media platform has 1,500 employees, down from less than 8,000 at the time of his acquisition. This reduction represents approximately 80% of the company’s workforce.
It is “not fun at all” and can be “painful” at times, the billionaire CEO of Twitter told a British broadcaster in San Francisco.
The second-richest individual in the world stated that “dramatic action” was required when he joined the company, as it was facing “a $3 billion negative cash flow situation.” This left Twitter (TWTR) with “four months to live,” according to his estimation.
“This situation is neither compassionate nor callous. If the entire ship sinks, then nobody has a position,” Musk explained.
In October 2017, Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion.
After proposing to acquire the company in April 2022, he attempted to back out of the agreement, citing the company’s high number of bot accounts. Since then, he has drastically revamped Twitter, dismissing top executives, slashing employment, and implementing new policies regarding the verification and labeling of user accounts.
According to the BBC, Twitter is now “roughly” profitable and advertisers are returning to the platform.
Musk also promised to change the designation “government-funded” to “publicly funded” after the BBC objected.
Over the weekend, the designation was added. The BBC protested the decision, claiming that it “has always been independent.”
“We are funded by the British public through the license fee,” it stated at the time.
Musk also weighed in on US scrutiny of the Chinese-owned app TikTok, stating that he was “generally against banning things” despite not using the app.
“I suppose a ban on TikTok would benefit Twitter, as people would spend more time on Twitter and less on TikTok,” he pondered.
“However, despite the fact that this would benefit Twitter, I am generally opposed to banning things.”
During the interview, Musk also joked that he was “no longer the CEO of Twitter” and had been succeeded by his Shiba Inu named Floki.