Elon Musk claims Twitter layoff timing won't affect year-end compensation

Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks up as he addresses guests at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 (ONS) meeting in Stavanger, Norway on August 29, 2022

Elon Musk, Chief Twit, is taking issue with reporting in a New York Times story this weekend that states he plans to lay off employees before Tuesday, November 1, thus cutting staff off from receiving stock grants as part of their compensation.

In response to a tweet from Eric Umansky, deputy managing editor of ProPublica, that said Musk was "making sure to fire people at Twitter before part of their year-end compensation kicks in on Tuesday," Musk said: "This is false." He didn't provide any clarification about what, specifically, was false.

Umansky's tweet included a screenshot of a highlighted portion of the NYT story that also noted stock grants make up a significant portion of an employee's pay, and by laying off workers before that date, Musk may avoid paying the grants. Musk did not respond to TechCrunch's request for clarification on whether the layoffs will affect stock compensation.

Previous reports said Musk would lay off 75% of Twitter's staff, but last week when the executive visited Twitter headquarters, he said those numbers weren't correct. Still, reports have been surfacing about various layoffs at the social media company, including of top Twitter executives like CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, General Counsel Sean Edgett and Head of Legal Policy, Trust and Safety Vijaya Gadde.

Musk's $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter went through late on Thursday last week. The New York Stock Exchange stopped trading Twitter's stock on Friday morning, where it had been listed since 2013. Twitter will officially be delisted from the stock exchange on November 8.

Current shareholders will be paid $54.20, Musks's buying price, per share. It's not clear how Twitter's now-private status will affect current employees with stock grants.