Twitter CEO Elon Musk is slashing employee benefits, according to Platformer managing editor Zoë Schiffer. It’s his latest in a series of controversial cost-cutting moves after buying the social media service in October.
Citing an internal email, Schiffer tweeted Wednesday that starting this quarter, “Commuter benefits, family planning, and meal allowances are all out. Coffee and snacks are staying.”
Musk didn’t appear to have confirmed or denied the report by Friday afternoon.
While “family planning” services can include abortion, the term can also refer to birth control, sterilization, and in vitro fertilization, among other things. It isn’t clear what Twitter’s “family planning” benefits were.
After taking over Twitter, Musk immediately embarked on high-profile measures to streamline costs. He quickly fired about half of the company’s 7,500 employees, which he has followed up with subsequent layoffs.
His $44 billion acquisition, the largest-ever tech buyout, was assisted by debt that forced another $1 billion in annual interest payments onto a company that was never very profitable, the New York Times reported. And Musk has complained of a “massive drop in revenue” from advertisers, CNBC reported, as he tries to rebuild the business model around subscriptions.
Musk promptly fired janitors at the San Francisco headquarters after they went on strike in December, leaving the bathrooms to grow dirty and causing employees to bring their own toilet paper to work, the Times reported. After missing rent payments there and closing some floors, Musk corralled workers so closely together that the office can smell of leftover food and body odor, sources told the Times.
Hundreds of office fixtures – including espresso makers and a 6-foot sculpture of an “@” symbol – are listed for sale in an auction set to begin Jan. 17.
Recently on a live Twitter Spaces discussion, Musk said he “spent the last five weeks cutting costs like crazy” to avoid a $3 billion shortfall, Bloomberg reported.
“This company is like, basically, you are in a plane that is headed toward the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work,” Musk said. He added that after cutting costs, he now thinks “Twitter will, in fact, be okay” in 2023.