Mr. Musk and his advisers held meetings with some Twitter workers whom they deemed “critical” to stop them from leaving, four people with knowledge of the conversations said. He sent out confusing messages about the company’s remote work policy, appearing to soften his stance on not allowing people to work from home before warning their managers, according to those people and internal emails viewed by The New York Times.
All the while, two people said, resignations started to roll in. By the deadline, 5 p.m. Eastern time, hundreds of Twitter employees appeared to have decided to depart with three months of severance pay, the people said.
Hundreds Say No To Musk’s Extremely Hardcore Twitter 2.0
The fresh purge of Twitter’s ranks comes after Musk recently fired dozens of employees who criticized or mocked him in tweets and internal messages. Musk then set a deadline of 5PM ET on Thursday for all employees to respond “yes” on a Google form if they want to stay for what he is calling “Twitter 2.0;” otherwise, today would be their final day of work and they would receive a severance package. After the deadline hit, hundreds of employees quickly started posting farewell messages and salute emojis in Twitter’s Slack, announcing that they had said no to Musk’s ultimatum.
Twitter had roughly 2,900 remaining employees before the deadline Thursday, thanks to Musk unceremoniously laying off about half of the 7,500-person workforce when he took over and the resignations that followed. Remaining and departing Twitter employees told The Verge that, given the scale of the resignations this week, they expect the platform to start breaking soon. One said that they’ve watched “legendary engineers” and others they look up to leave one by one.
“It feels like all the people who made this place incredible are leaving,” the Twitter staffer said. “It will be extremely hard for Twitter to recover from here, no matter how hardcore the people who remain try to be.”
Musk Now Says Most-Valuable Employees Can Stay Remote As Many Quit
As a deadline loomed for Twitter employees to sign a pledge to work extra hours or request severance, Elon Musk eased a return-to-the-office mandate he issued a week ago, telling employees Thursday they would be allowed to work remotely if their managers assert they are making “an excellent contribution.”
“I know of six critical systems (like ‘serving tweets’ levels of critical) which no longer have any engineers,” the former employee said. “There is no longer even a skeleton crew manning the system. It will continue to coast until it runs into something, and then it will stop.”
“I thought my soul was already fully crushed after the last two weeks. I was so wrong. Today has been rough,” one tweeted. “There will never be a better culture than what we had. We know it. Every other tech company knows it.”