Twitter faced a mass exodus of employees last week with many quitting following an ultimatum from Elon Musk
Twitter temporarily closed its offices last week, following a mass exodus of employees. While the Elon Musk-owned micro-blogging site did not give a reason for the move, workers were told to return on November 21st. Citing company policy, the message also told staffers to refrain from discussing confidential information on social media, with the press, or elsewhere, CNBC reports.
Staff at Twitter started to quit in droves after Elon Musk instructed them to commit to long hours at high intensity, or leave. Internal Slack messages also showed engineers and other employees posting goodbye messages to a “water cooler” chat group in the run-up to the deadline set by the Tesla boss. The thread was also filled with hundreds of salute emojis, thanking folks for their service. However, it’s unclear exactly how many people resigned.
The number of employees choosing to leave Twitter seems to have surprised Elon Musk, who softened his tone in a follow-up email about remote work, the Independent reports. After his initial rejection alienated staffers who survived the first round of layoffs, the billionaire backtracked, saying that remote work would need to be approved by managers who must ensure everyone working from home is still making an excellent contribution.
Remote workers would also be expected to have in-person meetings with colleagues on a reasonable cadence, ideally weekly, but not less than once per month. Musk has also asked some top engineers who resigned to consider staying on, said a Twitter engineer familiar with the situation told NBC News. The recent wave of resignations coupled with previous layoffs has left the social media company with a much smaller headcount in the last month.
Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk has cut the company’s full-time staff of 7,500 by half. He also sacked an unknown number of contractors responsible for content moderation and other crucial efforts. Now, concerns have been raised about the site’s ability to continue running. As such, #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter have been trending as users also consider leaving the site. Some have already pointed followers to their accounts on other platforms.
“Entire teams representing critical infrastructure are voluntarily departing, leaving the company at serious risk of being able to recover,” an engineer, who said they were handing in their resignation told CNBC. The person added that many leaving Twitter did not feel the need to stay and only knew of two people still on staff because the company sponsored their U.S. visas. “We are skilled professionals with lots of options, so Elon has given us no reason to stay and many to leave,” they said.
Esther Crawford, who works on early-stage products at Twitter, sent a farewell message to those leaving the company. “To all the Tweeps who decided to make today your last day, thanks for being incredible teammates through the ups and downs,” she wrote on the micro-blogging site. “I can’t wait to see what you do next.” Meanwhile, Elon Musk has continued to tweet throughout the turmoil, often mocking concerns about the company by posting memes and jokes about the dire situation.