Twitter is down to the bare bones under Elon Musk’s leadership, The New York Times reported.
Musk has taken drastic steps to stabilize Twitter’s finances since the billionaire bought the social media platform for $44 billion.
Over the past few weeks, Twitter had stopped paying millions of dollars in rent and services, and Musk had told his subordinates to renegotiate those agreements or simply end them.
The company has stopped paying rent at its Seattle office, leading it to face eviction, two people familiar with the matter said. Janitorial and security services have been cut, and in some cases, employees have resorted to bringing their own toilet paper to the office.
Speaking on a live forum on Twitter last week, Musk compared the company to a “plane that is headed towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.”
Musk said that he has been cutting costs because Twitter was on track to have a “negative cash flow situation” of about $3 billion in 2023, citing a depressed advertising environment and increased costs, like the debt payments.
Since early November, Musk has tried to save about $500 million in non-labor costs.
He has also made drastic cuts to labor itself, laying off or firing nearly 75 percent of the company’s workforce since he took over.
Cuts include shutting down the data center. On Christmas Eve, Twitter staff members flew to Sacramento where one of Twitter’s three main computing storage facilities is located. They were tasked with disconnecting servers that had kept Twitter running smoothly.
Those cuts may be yielding consequences.
Users around the world are reporting service interruptions with Twitter, including being logged out or seeing error messages on the site. Twitter has not explained what caused the temporary outage.
But those familiar company’s infrastructure said that if the Sacramento data facility had still been up and running, it could have helped alleviate the problem by providing backup computing capacity when other data centers failed.
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