The Twitter CEO gave employees until Thursday to decide whether to leave or commit to an “extremely hardcore” culture
Twitter offices are shutting down and employees are leaving in droves following an ultimatum from Elon Musk
on Wednesday. The CEO asked Twitter employees to either commit to an “extremely hardcore” culture at the company that involves “long hours at high intensity” or leave with severance, the Verge reported. Anyone who did not sign the pledge by 5 p.m. ET Thursday would reportedly receive three months of severance pay, The Washington Post reported.
Hours before the curtain call, hundreds of resignations rolled in, according to the New York Times. And as waves of employees opted for the three months severance pay, Twitter later announced via email that it would close their office buildings and disable employee badge access until Monday.
Before the Thursday deadline, Musk and his advisers held meetings with “critical” Twitter employees in an attempt to dissuade them from leaving, reports say. He also seemed to retreat on his stance on not allowing people to work from home in confusing messages about the company’s remote work policy.
The Twitter exodus follows the growing list of changes that have fallen on the company since Musk’s $44 billion takeover. Earlier this month, Musk fired top executives, slashed off half of the workforce, and fired any remaining staff who dared to bruise his ego on Twitter.
While Musk framed Wednesday’s 36-hour notice to leave or commit to “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0” as a way to give the company a competitive edge, the action is most likely an attempt to cut costs as the possibility of bankruptcy looms closer.
As word of the dire situation inside Twitter spread, #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter were the top trending hashtags as users took the moment to reminisce on fond memories on the social media platform before the lights went out. Many also shared links to other (more reliable) services like Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, and even newcomers like Mastodon.
Although Musk has tried to mitigate the hemorrhaging staff by bringing in engineers and managers from his other companies, Tesla
included, many of them are unfamiliar with how social media works, reports state.
The future of how Twitter will maintain its ability to handle misinformation and operate day-to-day is unclear as the thousands of employees have left in such a short amount of time.
The number of engineers required to operate Twitter’s critical systems are down to two or even zero, the Washington Post reported. “I know of six critical systems (like ‘serving tweets’ levels of critical) which no longer have any engineers,” a former employee told the Post. “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.”
Shortly after news of the latest departures, Elon Musk
tweeted, “How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one.”