Twitter staff begin to leave following Elon Musk's ultimatum

A Twitter employee is seen entering the offices in New York City, U.S., November 9, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Hundreds of Twitter Inc. employees are expected to have resigned in response to new owner Elon Musk's Thursday ultimatum that staffers sign up for "long hours at high intensity" or leave the company.

The departures demonstrate the reluctance of some of Twitter's roughly 3,000 employees to remain at a firm where Musk already fired half the workforce, including top management, and is ruthlessly altering the company's culture to stress long hours and a fast pace.

Musk tweeted late Thursday night that he was unconcerned about departures since "the greatest people are staying."

The billionaire owner also stated, without elaboration, "We have just reached another all-time high in Twitter usage..."

Musk spoke with some of Twitter's top employees on Thursday to persuade them to remain, according to a current employee and a recently departed employee in contact with Twitter colleagues.

According to two sources, the business also informed its staff that it will close its offices and restrict badge access until Monday. According to a source, security personnel began removing employees from an office on Thursday evening.

Over 110 Twitter employees on at least four continents had indicated their intention to leave the company via public tweets reviewed by Reuters; however, each resignation could not be independently verified. About 15 employees, the majority of whom work in ad sales, have expressed their desire to remain with the company.

On Thursday, approximately 500 employees penned farewell messages on Twitter's internal chat platform, according to a source with knowledge of the messages.

42% of 180 responders to a survey on the workplace app Blind, which validates employees using their work email addresses and allows them to exchange information anonymously, selected "Taking departure option, I'm free!"

Only 7% of those surveyed responded, "clicked yes to stay, I'm a diehard"

The precise number of personnel who intend to leave the organization could not be determined immediately.

Twitter declined to comment in response to a request.

Platform Stability

Numerous developers responsible for addressing problems and preventing service disruptions have left the company, raising concerns about the platform's stability in the wake of their departures.

Thursday evening, the version of the Twitter app used by staff began to stutter, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, who predicted that the public version of Twitter was at risk of malfunctioning overnight.

"If it breaks, there is no one left to fix it in many locations," claimed the individual, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

According to the website Downdetector, which monitors website and app outages, the number of Twitter outage reports spiked from less than 50 to over 350 on Thursday evening.

According to the former employee, in a private Signal chat with over 50 Twitter employees, nearly 40 stated that they had decided to leave the company.

And in a secret Slack group for current and former Twitter employees, approximately 360 people joined a new channel called "voluntary-layoff," according to a person familiar with the Slack group.

A separate survey on the Blind asked employees to predict the proportion of Twitter users who might depart depending on their impressions. More than fifty percent of respondents expected that at least fifty percent of employees will quit.

Musk emailed Twitter employees early on Wednesday morning, stating, "Going forward, to construct a revolutionary Twitter 2.0 and prosper in an increasingly competitive market, we will need to be incredibly tenacious."

The email requested employees to click "yes" if they wished to remain. The email stated that those who did not respond by Thursday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern will be assumed to have resigned and awarded a severance payout.

As the deadline drew closer, employees hurried to determine what steps to take.

According to a departing employee who spoke with Reuters, one team within Twitter opted to leave the firm as a unit.

Thursday was the second time in two weeks that blue heart and salute emoticons filled Twitter and its internal chatrooms as Twitter employees said their goodbyes.

Tess Rinearson, who was entrusted with developing a cryptocurrency team at Twitter, was among the notable departures. Rinearson posted the blue heart and salute emojis on his Twitter account.

Several departing staffers' Twitter profiles on Thursday referred to themselves as "softcore engineers" or "ex-hardcore engineers" in an apparent barb at Musk's demand that employees be "hardcore."

Musk made a joke on Twitter as the resignations trickled in.

He tweeted, "How can you make a tiny fortune on social media?" "Begin with a large one."

Publish : 2022-11-18 21:14:00

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