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Twitter announces partial hiring freeze and senior exec exits

By Clare Duffy, CNN Business

Twitter is halting hiring and parting ways with two senior leaders as it awaits a pending acquisition by Elon Musk.

The company is pausing most hiring and backfills, except for “business critical” roles, and pulling back on other non-labor costs, Twitter spokesperson Catherine Hill said in a statement to CNN Business on Thursday.

In addition, Twitter’s general manager of consumer, Kayvon Beykpour, and revenue product lead, Bruce Falck, announced their departures from the company on Twitter Thursday. Hill confirmed the exits.

Beykpour, a seven-year veteran of the company, said his exit was not his decision. “This isn’t how and when I imagined leaving Twitter … [Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal] asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction,” he said.

The company did not respond to a request for comment on whether the hiring freeze and executive exits are related to Musk’s acquisition, which is expected to close later this year, or to the broader tech market downturn. Social media rival Meta also recently announced plans to slow hiring as it grapples with slowing growth.

Thursday’s announcement is likely to add to the sense of uncertainty among some within the company since Musk announced his stunning $44 billion takeover deal last month.

There has been speculation that Musk’s acquisition, if it’s completed, could lead to layoffs or cost-cutting in certain parts of the company, as he restructures it to focus on his own goals for the platform, such as boosting its subscription business. Many experts also expect that Musk, who has previously said he does not have confidence in Twitter’s management team, would shake up the company’s leadership, including potentially ousting its CEO of less than a year, Agrawal.

That said, Musk’s acquisition deal has not yet closed and still could fall apart. There remain some questions about whether the decline in Tesla shares over the past month could negatively impact his ability to finance the deal. Twitter stock was trading around $46 on Thursday afternoon, well below Musk’s offer price of $54.20 per share, suggesting some investor skepticism about the likelihood that the deal gets completed.

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