Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Donald Trump’s Truth Social cuts staff as company languishes

Donald Trump’s Truth Social cuts staff as company languishes
The Truth Social app.(Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg)

The company behind former president Donald Trump’s Truth Social has trimmed staff while awaiting regulatory approval for a merger that offers a financial lifeline, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Trump Media & Technology Group, Truth Social’s parent company, laid off about half a dozen people, including senior members of its ranks, such as chief technology officer William “BJ” Lawson, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Lawson was the third person to hold the role at the company. Some close to Trump Media estimate it can fund operations through September at present spending levels, according to the people. 

Lawson and Trump Media didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Launched last year, Truth Social has been Trump’s social network of choice since he was banned from Twitter and suspended from Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook and Instagram after the Capitol insurrection on 6 January 2021. But Trump Media has grappled with uncertainty as it waits for regulators to approve its merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp, a blank-cheque firm.

In late February, Trump Media’s general counsel sent a letter asking Congress to investigate the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s review of the deal, writing that the “endless investigation of the DWAC-TMTG merger clearly constitutes an unprecedented attempt to kill the deal without any finding of wrongdoing”.

Trump Media executives were once optimistic about the advertising revenue that Truth Social could generate, particularly as last year’s US midterm elections approached, the people said. But the reality of launching an advertising business has proved more complicated.

Truth Social’s monthly web and desktop visits reached a high of 11.5 million visitors in August 2022 but have been on the decline since then, falling to just 5.7 million in February, according to digital intelligence firm Similarweb. BM/DM


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