Elon Musk emailed his remaining employees at Twitter on Monday morning to tell them that, after another round of sudden layoffs over the weekend, those who are left will receive “very significant” performance-based stock awards on March 24th, according to an internal memo obtained by The Verge.
“This past week, we completed a difficult organizational overhaul focused on improving future execution, using as much feedback as we could gather from the entire company,” Musk wrote. “Those who remain are highly regarded by those around them.”
The short memo, titled “Performance Awards,” is Musk’s first communication to Twitter employees since he laid off hundreds more of them, including several senior loyalists and nearly all of the product team without warning over the weekend. (Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer first tweeted about the memo.)
After several rounds of cuts and demanding that employees be “extremely hardcore,” Musk hasn’t yet shared details about how he will make up for the stock awards that went away when he took Twitter private. In previous internal comments, he has alluded to the system he set up at SpaceX to let employees regularly sell the company’s stock to interested investors. Given Twitter’s distressed financial situation relative to SpaceX, it’s unclear what the appetite for its stock will be in the short term.
“I think he’s just tearing this thing down to the studs”
Meanwhile, Musk has made it difficult for the people who work at Twitter to know the full scope of his cuts. The company’s internal directory has been offline since he took over. Last week, Musk shut down the ability for employees to use the company’s Slack. After turning off Slack, Musk also disabled Google Chat for work emails without explanation — a move that employees now think was intended to thwart internal communication during the layoffs.
Current and former employees I’ve spoken to estimate that Twitter’s total headcount is well below 2,000 now versus the roughly 7,500 people on the payroll when Musk took over. As one employee who was just laid off told me, “I think he’s just tearing this thing down to the studs and trying to run as lean as possible till the market turns around.”