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Twitter Co-founder apologizes for Elon Musk’s big layoffs comment

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey apologized for “expanding the company too fast” on Saturday, Nov. 6, local time in the United States. This comes a day after new Twitter boss Elon Musk announced massive layoffs company-wide, with nearly 1,000 employees fired on the same day.

In a tweet, Dorsey wrote: “Twitter’s employees, past and present, are strong. No matter how difficult the situation is, they always find a way to work it out. I know that many people are upset with me and that I am responsible for their situation today – after all, I let the company expand too fast. I’m sorry for that.”

Documents filed with the SEC show that as of June 30, 2013, shortly before Twitter went public, the company had about 2,000 employees. By the end of last year, the company had more than 7,500 full-time employees.

On Oct. 28, after Musk completed his acquisition and took over Twitter, there were rumors that the company would make massive layoffs. On Thursday evening, Twitter notified employees that layoffs would begin. In a notification letter submitted to the relevant agencies, Twitter confirmed that a total of 983 employees in California were being laid off.

In a Friday afternoon tweet, Musk wrote: “Regarding Twitter layoffs, unfortunately, we had no choice when the company was losing more than $4 million a day. Everyone who left was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than required by law.”

Dorsey’s apology comes at a critical time in Twitter’s transformation, with Musk’s takeover triggering much turmoil, such as the firing of executive leadership, including the CEO. Advertisers and users wary of Musk’s plans are fleeing the platform, prompting the latter to face new pressure to increase revenue.

In response, Musk has taken a number of steps, including making users pay for verified accounts. Musk has also expressed a vision of supporting “free speech” on the platform, which has civil rights groups and information experts worried that the platform will see more hate speech, misinformation, and conspiracy theories spread.

Dorsey co-founded Twitter with Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in 2006. Throughout the leadership transition, Dorsey served as CEO twice and left last year. Parag Agrawal, then chief technology officer, replaced Dorsey, but he himself has been fired by Musk.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey

Since leaving Twitter, Dorsey has turned most of his attention to his payments company, Block (formerly Square). He has always been a supporter of Musk’s takeover of Twitter and has publicly posted, “This is the right path, and I believe in it.”

Although Dorsey no longer holds any position at Twitter, he has not completely severed his ties with the company. He retains about 2.4 percent of Twitter and recently transferred it to a new company controlled by Musk, making him one of the largest individual shareholders, regulatory filings show.

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