TWITTER has slashed eight per cent of its global workforce as newly returned chief executive Jack Dorsey outlined his “roadmap” to boost users and revenues at the money-losing social network.
The cuts — which amount to 336 jobs — come less than a week after Dorsey, one of the Twitter’s co-founders, returned to the top job permanently as part of an effort to revive growth at the San Francisco-based business.
Dorsey tweeted to publicly announce the plan:
In a letter addressed to employees, Dorsey said the company’s executives were streamlining the organisation and “restructuring our workforce so we can put our company on a stronger path to grow”.
He said it was “an extremely tough decision” to let go of 336 people — mostly in the product and engineering departments.
“We are doing this with the utmost respect for each and every person,” he wrote.
“This isn’t easy. But it is right. The world needs a strong Twitter and this is another step to get there.”
He said his team was working “to produce a streamlined roadmap” for Twitter and its other services including video-sharing platforms Vine and Periscope.
“The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact,” he wrote.
“The roadmap is also a plan to change how we work, and what we need to do that work.”
But for one unlucky ex-employee, the grim news could not have come more abruptly.
Senior software engineer Bart Teeuwisse revealed on Twitter he found out he had been sacked when he was barred from logging onto his work email account from home.
He then later clarified that Twitter’s HR team had rung him, but the news landed in his voicemail. Evidence of that voicemail message is in his screenshot, received about two hours after an earlier inbox message saying: “You’ve been removed from Twitter”.
The messaging platform, which has not yet turned a profit, has struggled to expand its user base above 300 million, lagging rival networks such as Instagram and well behind the much larger Facebook.
Twitter said the lay-offs will result in $10 million to $20 million in severance costs, and total restructuring expenses are estimated at $5 million to $15 million.
Twitter shares gained one per cent to close at $29.06, after trading up as much as five per cent during the day on Wall Street. The stock had jumped above $70 two years ago but slumped this year below the 2013 offering price of $26.