Twitter releases Canadian staff including Director of Public Policy Michele Austin

Twitter has laid off its Director of Public Policy for the U.S. & Canada, among other Canadian staff, as the platform undertakes mass layoffs under new owner Elon Musk.

Michele Austin

Ottawa-based Michele Austin had held the role for the last five years.

“I am heartbroken to announce that I’ve been laid off by Twitter Inc.,” she wrote in a post to LinkedIn. “It’s been the best, craziest, most rewarding 5 year ride of my career. I loved every single minute of it.”

“There are so many highlights: hiring and managing an amazing team; setting international priorities; being a global spokesperson; helping clients get the most out of the platform; being part of cross-functional teams on revenue, sales, social impact and product; being the global finance chair for Twitter Indigenous,” she continued. “The skills, hustle and compassion I learned at Twitter have made me a better person. I will forever carry the #oneteam mindset forward.”

Paul Burns, Managing Director of Twitter Canada, has also confirmed his exit on social media.

Broadcast Dialogue received an email bounce back when attempting to reach Twitter’s Canadian Head of Communications, Cam Gordon.

Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion (including a sizeable amount of debt) and has named himself sole director after dissolving the board, says the company has seen a massive revenue drop which he blamed on “activist groups pressuring advertisers” in a tweet today.

Estimates suggest as much as half of the San Francisco-based platform’s 7,500 strong workforce could be impacted by today’s layoffs. Musk is already facing a class action lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court, for not giving public notice of earlier layoffs under California employment law which requires employers to disclose layoffs involving 500 or more employees.

Meanwhile, many users are exiting the platform amid Musk’s plans to overhaul the app.

Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 30 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.

* indicates required


Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

The Weekly Briefing - Subscribe Now – Free!

It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Events / Conferences