Twitter is on a melt down! Elon Musk had given staff an ‘ultimatum’ to be ‘extremely hardcore’ and work long hours or leave…
Hundreds of Twitter employees are estimated to be leaving the beleaguered social media company following an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk that staffers sign up for “long hours at high intensity,” — or leave.
Early Wednesday, Musk had emailed Twitter employees, saying: “Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore.”
The email asked staff to click “yes” if they wanted to stick around. Those who did not respond by 5 p.m. ET on Thursday would be considered to have quit and given a severance package, the email said.
As the deadline approached, employees scrambled to figure out what to do.
In a poll on the workplace app Blind, which verifies employees through their work email addresses and allows them to share information anonymously, 42 per cent of 180 respondents chose the answer “Taking exit option, I’m free!”
A quarter said they had chosen to stay on at the company “reluctantly,” and only seven per cent of the poll participants said they “clicked yes to stay, I’m hardcore.“
The company notified employees Thursday evening that it will close its offices and cut badge access until Monday, according to two sources. Security officers have begun kicking employees out of the office, one source said.
Musk took to Twitter late on Thursday and said that he was not worried about resignations as “the best people are staying.”
The billionaire owner, amid the flood of resignations, also added that Twitter has hit all-time high in usage.
“And we just hit another all time high in Twitter usage…,” he said in a tweet, without elaborating.
Twitter, which has lost many of its communication team members, did not respond to a request for comment.
Stability of platform in question
Musk was meeting some top employees to try to convince them to stay, said one current employee and a recently departed employee who is in touch with Twitter colleagues.
The departures include many engineers responsible for fixing bugs and preventing service outages, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of employees.
On Thursday evening, the version of the Twitter app used by employees began slowing down, according to one source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of breaking during the night.
“If it does break, there is no one left to fix things in many areas,” said the person, who declined to be named for fear of retribution.
Reports of Twitter outages rose sharply from less than 50 to about 350 reports on Thursday evening, according to website Downdetector, which tracks website and app outages.
While it is unclear how many employees have chosen to stay, the numbers highlight the reluctance of some staffers to remain at a company where Musk has hastened to fire half its employees, including top management, and is ruthlessly changing the culture to emphasize long hours and an intense pace.
Staff poll estimates half of employees would leave
In a private chat on Signal with about 50 Twitter staffers, nearly 40 said they had decided to leave, according to the former employee.
And in a private Slack group for Twitter’s current and former employees, about 360 people joined a new channel titled “voluntary-layoff,” said a person with knowledge of the Slack group.
A separate poll on Blind asked staffers to estimate what percentage of people would leave Twitter based on their perception. More than half of respondents estimated at least 50 per cent of employees would leave.
Blue hearts and salute emojis flooded Twitter and its internal chat rooms on Thursday, the second time in two weeks as Twitter employees said their goodbyes.
By 6 p.m. ET, more than two dozen Twitter employees across the United States and Europe had announced their departures in public Twitter posts reviewed by Reuters, though each resignation could not be independently verified.
One team within Twitter decided to take the leap together and leave the company, one employee who is leaving told Reuters.
In an apparent jab at Musk’s call for employees to be “hardcore,” the Twitter profile bios of several departing engineers on Thursday described themselves as “softcore engineers” or “ex-hardcore engineers.”
Prepare now! Stock up on Iodine tablets for the next nuclear disaster…
As the resignations rolled in, Musk used the platform to crack a joke.
“How do you make a small fortune in social media?” he tweeted. “Start out with a large one.” [CBC]