It’s interesting times at Twitter, which is facing a looming court battle with Tesla CEO Elon Musk over a potential acquisition. In fact, it might be too interesting for some employees—according to a new report in Business Insider, they’re fleeing the company in droves.
Business Insider estimates that Twitter has suffered a net loss of nine percent of its staff. “Attrition has been so high that Twitter cited it in court proceedings as one of the damaging effects of Musk's attempt to back out of the deal,” the publication noted. “It increased even more sharply since early August, when many workers' restricted stock units fully vested, meaning they could cash out their shares.”
Like many tech companies, Twitter went on a hiring binge at the beginning of 2022, with its workforce totaling roughly 8,200 employees by mid-year. But faced with rising economic uncertainty (and a healthy amount of internal drama), executives then instituted a hiring slowdown (it wasn’t alone in that maneuver: at roughly the same time, Uber, Meta, Google, and Apple all announced temporary pauses in recruiting and onboarding).
In a May memo to employees, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal hinted at the need to become more efficient. “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,” he wrote. “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.”
Will a mass departure of employees force the company to hire technologists in significant numbers, simply to keep things running? Time will tell. In the meantime, Twitter faces significant marketplace challenges—and a big court battle with Elon Musk, who seems intent on reversing his plans to acquire the company.
The unemployment rate for tech occupations crept up to 2.3 percent in August, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although some tech companies are facing turbulence, organizations across multiple industries are hungry to hire technologists for a variety of roles, from building websites to managing and securing networks. Given their skills, those technologists leaving Twitter likely have their pick of new roles.