The $20 billion valuation is less than half the $44 billion Musk paid to buy the social media platform last year. In theory, this would give workers great growth potential if the value of the company recovers. Many early start-ups offer deeply discounted stock options, Bloomberg notes.
The move could also be seen as an attempt to stem the exodus of talent from the company, observers say. During his tenure, Musk laid off thousands of employees in a series of job cuts that later led to mass layoffs as workers fled growing uncertainty about the company’s direction. In addition, Musk has made big changes to content moderation that have scared off some advertisers and contributed to the company’s stock plunge.
Twitter also began removing outdated verified marks that previously helped users authenticate claims made by public figures and news organizations.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the company is offering employees new stock grants that will begin rolling out in six months.