Twitter is apparently preparing itself for the next phase of its ongoing battle for survival by trimming its staff.
On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the social media platform might soon lay off roughly 300 people, though the exact number and timing of the cuts aren’t confirmed.
The layoffs rumor mirrors last year’s staff cuts, when co-founder Jack Dorsey took back the reins of the platform. He has been unable to turn around Twitter’s decline—and now appears to be bracing the company for a fight to survive without hope of a buyout.
Twitter has been on an absolute rollercoaster since Dorsey took over around this time last year. Dorsey opened his tenure by laying off 8% of the company , and throughout his time as CEO, has seen Twitter’s value cut nearly in half. That’s been a result of slow-to-no user growth, slowing revenue growth, and being constantly dogged by issues surrounding trolls on the platform. (The latter actually scared away Disney and Salesforce as potential suitors.)
Twitter’s losses and 40 percent fall in its share price the past 12 months have made it more difficult for the company to pay its engineers with stock. That has made it harder for Twitter to compete for talent with giant rivals like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. Reducing employee numbers would relieve some of this pressure.
An announcement about the layoffs could come before Twitter’s earning report on Thursday.
Goldman Sachs, Gannett slimming down
Twitter isn’t the only company giving its employees bad news.
On Monday, the New York Post reported:
Just one week after reporting its best quarter in more than a year, Goldman Sachs announced on Monday it will show 20 employees to the door – extending the bank’s deepest personnel cuts since the financial crisis.
Though Goldman Sachs’ most recent cuts aren’t large, the New York Post reported that the company has given more than 480 workers the boot this year-the most since the 2009 layoffs that affected 900 employees.
On Monday, Gannett—the largest newspaper company in the United States—also announced job cuts.
The company will lay off 2 percent of its workforce, or roughly 350 positions. The announcement comes just days before its earnings report-which will disclose Gannett’s losing struggle to have its digital revenue make up for print-publishing losses.
Gannett will announce its third-quarter earnings on Thursday. Company insiders say they won’t be pretty, as print ad revenue losses largely between five and eight percent at many of its more than 100 properties swamp efforts at digital business revenue growth. Even before the Thursday call with financial analysts, investor and financial pressure on Gannett has increased steadily throughout the year. Its share price is down more than 35% as it has bid, over the year, to make one additional large acquisition, that of Tronc, the former Tribune Publishing’s nine newspapers, including the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune.
The publishing giant’s president and CEO, Bob Dickey, spread the news via an employee email, which read in part:
We made the decision to reduce about 2% of our workforce across the organization, including at headquarters. We will communicate with the majority of those affected by the end of the day on Oct. 25, with actions completed by the end of the week.
We will all feel the loss of great colleagues. Each and every one of you has my deep gratitude for your many contributions to the success of our company. Actions like these are difficult, but I remain steadfastly committed to reinvesting in our employees and the capabilities required to sustain and grow our company so that we may continue to serve our customers with excellence.
Over the next 18 months, we will continue to build our scale and invest in important digital capabilities and experiences – such as critical e-commerce infrastructure and significant upgrades to our digital content platforms.
Email gaffe breaks layoffs news to Barron’s staff
Layoffs are never easy, but some missteps can bring a whole new set of internal and external communication problems.
On Oct. 21, Barron’s made headlines for its impending layoffs-because the company’s editor and president, Ed Finn, seriously miscalculated his email skills.
The cringe-worthy mistake came on the heels ofan employee memo from The Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker. In the memo, Baker offered a severance package to staffers who agreed to resign:
In order to limit the number of involuntary layoffs, we will be offering all news employees around the world – management and non-management – the option to elect to take an enhanced voluntary severance benefit.
[Finn] apparently set out to write a note to a few top officials at the company—including Almar Latour, publisher and executive vice president for Dow Jones Media Group—but instead forwarded the message to the entire Wall Street Journal newsroom. There was news in that message:
Almar, John, Mike,
The email Gerry Baker just sent about wsj buyouts says that dj is offering 1.5x the standard buyout package.
Are we planning to go to the employees we are laying off at Barron’s next week and offer them 1x the standard package. That could create some problems.
Thanks and best,