BOULDER — Now that Elon Musk has acquired Twitter, changes attached to his overhaul of the company are impacting Twitter employees who work in Boulder.
In a tweet, Musk called the layoffs a "reduction in force" and said the company has no choice when they are losing over four million dollars a day.
Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.
On Friday afternoon, the Mayor of Boulder said he received an official notice from Twitter regarding the local cuts.
"One of them was the letter that they had sent to all the employees. And the other one was the official letter to us as a city saying that 87 Twitter employees were being laid off from the local Twitter Boulder office," Mayor Aaron Brockett said. “We'll feel it from a cultural perspective. You know, I think Twitter is an important local company, and it's changing their presence pretty significantly.”
The letter sent to the City of Boulder said "approximately 87 employees at the Boulder Office will be terminated from the company, with terminations expected to begin Jan. 4, 2023."
It continued to say the "workforce reductions" are expected to be permanent. Terminated employees were notified on November 4, 2022, which was their last working day. Those who have been fired will continue to be paid and receive benefits through Jan. 4, 2023.
Brockett said Twitter has been in Boulder since 2014.
The Boulder Chamber of Commerce said Twitter employees estimate there are 200 people working for the company locally. That means the anticipated 87 employees who are terminated would account for almost half of the staff.
“Anytime there are layoffs, especially 87 workers being laid off in our community, I have a lot of hope for them finding new jobs, but my heart goes out to them so close to Thanksgiving," said the Senior Director of Policy and Programs at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Jonathan Singer. “There's a lot of tough decisions that those families are going to make, even with severance happening.”
However, Singer said Boulder has a robust economy with a 2.6% unemployment rate. He said there are several employers in the tech industry seeking employees, and he hopes the 87 Twitter employees will find a new job in Boulder.
“We are probably some of the best equipped in the nation to handle, when there are these market disruptions," Singer said. “My hope is that we can be a conduit for conversation between Twitter, Twitter employees, and new employers out there who are scrambling for new employees right now, and are looking for the best and the brightest.”
Singer said the Boulder Chamber of Commerce partners with the Workforce Boulder County to help displaced employees find local jobs.
The economic impact on the city is difficult to understand at the moment, since it is not clear how many of the 87 employees live in Boulder.
“A city's lifeblood is really sales tax revenue. That's the biggest sort of chunk of revenue that they get," Singer said. “We're going to have to take a harder look at those numbers because people have been remote working.”
Still, both Singer and Brockett believe the layoffs will have a significant impact on the employees.
“The company's influence on the whole world is significant. So, we've been proud to have them as one of our local companies," said Brockett. "I feel for them. I know it's a really hard time.”