Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey speaks out after mass layoffs

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, November 12, 2018.

Anushree Fadnavis Reuters

Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey apologized on Saturday for growing the company “too quickly”, a day after the company laid off about half of its employees under new owner Elon Musk.

“People past and present on Twitter are strong and resilient. They will always find a way no matter how tough the moment gets,” Dorsey said. wrote in a tweet. “I realize that many are angry with me. I take responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I increased the size of the company too quickly. I apologize. .”

As of June 30, 2013, shortly before the social media company’s IPO, Twitter had about 2,000 employees, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. At the end of last year, the company had more than 7,500 full-time employees.

After Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk took over Twitter on Oct. 28, the company embarked on a steep downsizing. Twitter notified employees late Thursday that it would begin laying off staff, according to communications obtained by CNBC.

The cuts affected a total of 983 employees in California, its home state, according to three notice letters the company sent to regional authorities, which were obtained by CNBC.

Musk wrote in a tweet on Friday afternoon: “When it comes to reducing the strength of Twitter, unfortunately there is no other choice when the company is losing over $4 million a day. Anyone who walked out was offered 3 months of severance pay, which is 50% more than the legal requirement.”

Twitter’s downsizing has extended beyond California, and CNBC could not immediately confirm whether Musk’s description is accurate. A loss of $4 million per day for the company would represent an annual loss of approximately $1.5 billion.

Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006 alongside Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. Dorsey has held the top job twice during management changes and stepped down as CEO last year. Parag Agrawal, then the company’s chief technology officer, took over from Dorsey as CEO before leaving as part of the Musk takeover.

Dorsey has since focused on exclusively running his payments company Block, formerly known as Square. He has been a strong advocate for Musk’s takeover, write in a tweet that “It’s the right way… I believe it with all my heart.”

—CNBC’s Lora Kolodny and Jonathan Vanian contributed to this report.

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