Musk says Twitter is almost outperformed, with 1,500 employees

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Wednesday that the social media company is “almost even” with most of its advertisers back and its aggressive cost-cutting efforts starting to pay off after mass layoffs.

Musk said, in an interview with the BBC livestreamed on Twitter Spaces, that Twitter has about 1,500 employees now, which is a sharp drop from “just under 8,000” before he took over in October.

Sources told Reuters that Twitter has been characterized by chaos and uncertainty since Musk’s $44 billion acquisition, with layoffs including several engineers responsible for fixing and preventing outages.

Last week, Twitter suffered a bug that prevented thousands of users from accessing links, its sixth major outage since the start of the year, according to internet watchdog group NetBlocks.

Musk acknowledged some glitches, including the recent outages, but said they were short-lived.

He says Twitter was in a $3 billion cash flow negative and had to take drastic action, referring to its massive layoffs.

“It could be cash flow positive this quarter if all goes well,” he said in the interview, which drew more than 3 million listeners, adding that the company currently has all-time high user numbers.

Twitter has experienced a massive drop in advertising since its acquisition.

Musk said that was due to the cyclical nature of ad spending and some of it was “political”. On Wednesday, he said most of her advertisers are back.

The billionaire, who also runs electric car maker Tesla (TSLA.O) and rocket company SpaceX, said he has no one in mind to succeed him as CEO of Twitter.

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Musk has faced scrutiny from Tesla investors over the amount of time he spends running the social media platform and had previously said the end of this year would be a “good time” to find a new CEO at Twitter.

Reporting by Akriti Sharma. Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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