Elon Musk wants to make Twitter profitable with mass layoffs and drastic austerity measures. Even some of the office equipment was sold off. Many ex-employees are all the more surprised: they still have their premium hardware at home.

Since his takeover of Twitter, Elon Musk has become the chief saver. Under his leadership, the company needs money even more than before – while revenue is falling (learn more here). Even bankruptcy is in the public domain. The measures are becoming more and more desperate. But actually very obvious sources of money seem to be ignored.

The company therefore makes no effort to collect the notebooks from employees who have been laid off for cost reasons. Several former employees report this to “Wired”. Eric Frohnhoff is one of them. He made headlines when he engaged in a public discussion with Musk – and was promptly fired afterwards (read more here). That was in November. But nobody wanted his company notebook back from him.

What about the notebooks

It would definitely be worth it though. The notebook is a Macbook Pro with an M1 Pro chip. Apple only put the successor on the market last week (you can find our test here). As a refurbished device, even Frohnhoff’s model still fetches almost 1300 euros, new it costs at least 1800 euros. The former Twitter developer now has it in the closet. “I like to let it collect dust here,” he told Wired.

Twitter could use the money well. Since the takeover, the group has no longer had to submit annual reports, but according to “The Information” the group’s revenues are said to have collapsed by almost 40 percent in the last quarter of 2022 as part of the general advertising crash and the hustle and bustle surrounding Musk’s takeover. At the same time, the purchase increased the group’s financial obligations: Because Musk took out part of the purchase price as a loan, Twitter has to pay a billion dollars in interest every year. For a company that, even in its prime, only managed $6 billion in revenue on a small profit, that’s a real challenge.

Musk is therefore not only relying on his controversial Twitter Blue subscription, but above all on iron savings. Almost three quarters of the workforce put Musk out the door and wants to continue the short message service with a small team of “hardcore” employees. Compared to the other measures, this seems almost reasonable. Twitter refused to pay bills and rent around the world (read more here), cheating its creditors out of millions. And: The group sold what wasn’t nailed down. In addition to office chairs, even small items such as keyboards were turned into money.

fear of demand

It is surprising that Twitter does not seem to want to return its laptops. It certainly happens. In companies like Airbnb, for example, the devices were given to employees who were laid off as part of the severance pay. However, many of the affected Twitter employees prefer not to ask. Because Musk still owes many former employees their severance packages, they fear that they will lose part of their claims with the notebooks that are not returned, they complain to “Wired”.

According to another ex-employee, things could now be moving. As part of a survey, Twitter is said to have asked some of the dismissed about the whereabouts of company items such as access cards, chargers and company smartphones. And have given an address for the return. Keyboards, mice and screens and the associated cables are explicitly excluded from return. However, one type of device does not appear in the survey: laptops.

Quellen: Wired, The Guardian, The Information