Meta and Google are snapping up Twitter employees as Elon Musk plays a game of will-he-won't-he with the company
- Over 500 employees have left Twitter in the past 90 days amid the company's court battle with Elon Musk.
- Many of the employees have moved to major tech companies like Google and Meta, LinkedIn data shows.
There may not be many employees left to lay off if Elon Musk buys Twitter.
Amid Musk's months-long game of will-he-won't-he with his offer to buy the company, hundreds of Twitter employees are leaving for opportunities at other tech giants like Google and Meta, according to a report from Greg Larkin and Elizabeth Gafford at Punks & Pinstripes. The company analyzed and verified LinkedIn data to see how many workers are leaving Twitter and where they go after they leave.
Over the past 90 days about 530 workers have left Twitter — about 60% more than had left Twitter during the previous quarter. And nearly 50 more have left the company just this month as the odds of Musk buying the company look increasingly higher.
Since Musk began acquiring stock in the company in January, over 1,100 people have left the company, which has a workforce of about 7,500 employees. Though, the billionaire did not reveal his investment or offer to take the company private until April.
Nearly 30% of the workers that have left Twitter in the past three months have gone to Google or Meta, according to data from Punks & Pinstripes. Meanwhile, dozens more have gone to other top social platforms, including Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snap, and TikTok.
Larkin, CEO of Punks & Pinstripes, also noted that a large number of the workers reported moving to startups.
"The bottom line here is that the uncertainty being generated by the fight between Elon Musk and Twitter is driving a lot of their top talent to other social media platforms," Larkin told Insider. "These people have options as to where they can go and they're going."
Last week, The Washington Post reported that Musk had told investors he plans to lay off about 75% of the social media company's workforce if he acquires Twitter. But, Twitter employees have been exiting the company on their own for months. In September, Insider's Kali Hays reported that workers were ditching the company in droves over concerns about Musk's $44 billion purchase. Last week, Insiders told Hays that they expect "chaos" in the wake of Musk's purchase as he attempts to follow through on his plans to potentially turn Twitter into a super app.
Twitter employees might not be far off in their assessment. Musk's acquisition would represent a major culture shift for the company. The billionaire is likely to oust current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. He is also likely to bring workers back into the office fulltime — a move that created a similar exodus at Tesla.
The Tesla CEO is also known for his high expectations for employees. He has constantly set lofty goals for his companies and frequently expects workers to burn the midnight oil. When Musk initially offered to buy Twitter, a former Tesla director joked that the social media company should "put on your track shoes now."
Ultimately, the exodus could play into Musk's plans. In a private text message, the billionaire joked with longtime friend Jason Calacanis that a return-to-office mandate for Twitter staff could help initiate a series of "Gentlemen's layoffs" — a move that would help the company avoid paying severance.
"2 day a week office requirement = 20% voluntary departures," Calacanis texted Musk in April, per a trove of private messages that were revealed as a part of the pretrial discovery process for his court battle with Twitter. "Day zero... sharpen your blades boys."
Musk's $44 billion deal is facing a ticking clock. The billionaire has until Friday at 5 p.m. ET to close the deal or face a November trial against Twitter.
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