Mass Layoffs at Twitter Ordered by Elon Musk Hit Employees in Latin America

In the two largest markets in the region, former employees of the social network posted comments about their departures and doubts about what comes next

Twitter
By Bloomberg Línea and Bloomberg News
November 04, 2022 | 10:25 AM

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Bloomberg Línea — The massive layoffs that Elon Musk announced for Twitter Inc. (TWTR) touched the social platform’s main markets in Latin America.

In both Brazil and Mexico, former employees posted on their social network accounts that they had left Twitter, which was acquired by Musk last week in a transaction valued at $44 billion.

“To my beautiful clients, sorry for not being able to give you the right goodbye or conclude our campaigns properly, @elonmusk fired me. Thank you always for your trust, I hope to meet you soon in other places,” posted Denisse Rosales, based in Mexico City.

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Other former employees in the region and globally simply said goodbye to colleagues and contacts using the hashtag #oneteam and others said they were in shock at the ways in which they have been treated by Twitter.

In Brazil, Twitter employees have been blocked from accessing their work emails since the early hours of Friday. Bloomberg Linea found that the team of 150 employees led by Fiamma Zarife received an email at 4 a.m. warning that computers would be locked down and asking employees to wait for more information.

Bloomberg Línea attempted to contact Twitter staff in Brazil by email, but the message did not get through.

Earlier in the morning, Zarife posted on her Twitter account, “Sending my best thoughts and energy to all the tweeps around the world. Admiration and respect for all we have done together. Always here for whatever you need.”

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In addition, she responded to the agency’s leader for Twitter Mexico, Almudena Blanco: “I will always be here for you. It was a great joy working with you. All will be well. Let me know your next steps and how I can help you, please.”

One person who worked in Twitter’s curation team in the region told Bloomberg Línea that colleagues do not know how to proceed with the layoffs because labor laws in countries in the region differ and from California, where a class action lawsuit is being filed against Elon Musk.

This person also said that there are various levels of employment, including full-time employees and contractors.

Bloomberg Línea contacted the company’s management and its communications agencies, but so far has not received a response.

Another person contacted by Bloomberg Línea referred to themselves as an ex-Tweep, and said that the company did not give them clues on how to proceed with campaigns hired by clients on the social network.

“I guess they will control it with external agencies and with those in the remaining staff in California,” the person said.

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Employees will have to check two email addresses to find out if they still have jobs, according to an internal memo sent to US employees and seen by Bloomberg News. An email to those employees’ work account would mean they have been retained. An email to their personal inbox would mean they have been terminated.

However, it was not the same email that employees in Brazil received, Bloomberg Línea verified.

In Brazil, the email stated that the company was conducting a task force to improve the company’s health. Those who received this email would be exposed to various effects or a cutback. The email also said that employees were losing access to the server due to a data protection policy, although this would not mean a contract suspension.

Twitter promised to notify employees by 9 a.m. California time and temporarily shut down the offices and suspended badge access “to help ensure the security of each employee, as well as Twitter’s systems and customer data,” the message said.

Musk plans to eliminate half of Twitter’s workforce to cut costs at the social media platform, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company also must find a way to deal with interest costs on huge debt.