Mr. Musk and his advisors held meetings with some of the Twitter workers they deemed “crucial” to keep them from leaving, four people familiar with the conversations said. He’s sent confusing messages about the company’s remote work policy, and appears to be softening his stance on not letting people work from home before warning their managers, according to those people and internal emails seen by The New York Times.
Two people said resignations were coming in all the time. By the 5 p.m. ET deadline, hundreds of Twitter employees appeared to have decided to leave with three months’ severance pay, the people said. Twitter later announced via email that it would be closing “our office buildings” and disabling employee badge access through Monday.
The exits added to the turmoil Twitter has experienced since Mr. Musk, 51, completed his work $44 billion acquisition Last month. Billionaire has lay off half Of the 7,500 full-time workers at Twitter, Dissenters fired She told employees they needed to be a “very hard core” to make the company a success.
On Wednesday, Mr. Musk gave the remaining Twitter employees just under 36 hours to leave or commit to building the “Twitter 2.0 hack.” He said those who left would receive an end-of-service gratuity for three months. He framed the move as a way to make the company more competitive, though the measure also provided an opportunity to cut costs and purge the company of disaffected workers.
Laying off so many employees in such a pressurized period has raised questions about how Twitter can continue to operate effectively. Five people said that while Mr. Musk has brought in some engineers and managers from his other companies, such as electric carmaker Tesla, many are just beginning to accelerate how the social media service works.
On Twitter, the hashtag #RIPTwitter began popping up as users wondered if the service would go down. Some people posted tombstones with the inscription that Mr. Musk killed the service, while others joked that there was only one employee left. Some users said they are migrating to other social media services.
Mr. Musk and Twitter, which no longer has a communications department, did not respond to requests for comment. But in a tweet late Thursday, Mr. Musk joked about how much he paid the social media company.
Twitter isn’t just facing internal challenges regarding Mr. Musk’s ownership. On Thursday, seven Democratic senators called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the company has since violated a consumer privacy agreement with the agency. Mr. Musk took over. The letter followed the resignations of Twitter’s security executives last week after Musk changed some of the company’s data security practices.
The lawmakers wrote that those “reported changes to Twitter’s internal reviews and data security practices” put consumers at “risk.” Among them were Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
A spokesperson for the Federal Trade Commission declined to comment. The agency said earlier that it was “following the latest developments on Twitter with deep concern.” Mr. Musk said he plans to abide by the privacy agreement.
Jeff Seibert, former head of consumer products at Twitter, described the company’s state “Sad” and “Disappointing” He said Mr. Musk’s leadership has caused “confusion” to users, advertisers and staff. He said Twitter, which has long suffered from harassment and misinformation on its platform, “has been at the center of a whirlwind for a decade now”.
“Of all the companies that don’t need any more drama, it’s Twitter,” Mr. Seibert added.
After Mr. Musk asked workers to decide whether to stay or go, employees were provided with a question-and-answer document about exit packages on Wednesday. The FAQ, seen by the Times, opens by saying Warning Mr. Musk It was an “official company communication” and “not a phishing attempt”.
“As you have seen, Twitter is at the beginning of an exciting journey,” the document reads.
The FAQ added that employees will have to “maximize working from the office” and “work the hours necessary to do your work to the highest standard,” including early mornings, late nights and weekends.
On Thursday morning, Twitter’s internal Slack messaging system appeared relatively quiet, according to two employees and logs seen by The Times. Mr. Musk’s team had spent part of this week combing through messages or tweets critical of him and the company, leading to Shooting of about twenty workers Tuesday.
Some employees at Slack had questions about severance packages or whether their jobs would be “guaranteed” if they agreed to stay “with the new Twitter.” One employee posted lyrics to Pink Floyd’s song “Wish You Were Here” while others asked for appropriate email addresses for HR concerns, according to messages seen by The Times.
On Blind, a social platform where anonymous users talk about their workplaces, a survey of nearly 250 people connected to Twitter showed that about 73 percent preferred taking a severance package over staying. Two people said that people who decided to stay still believed in Twitter’s mission of giving people a voice or had visas related to their jobs or other personal reasons.
More on Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter
On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Musk sent an email in which he appeared to backtrack on his stance on working from home. He had previously said that all Twitter employees must come into the office to work at least 40 hours a week.
But in his memo, seen by The Times, Mr Musk wrote: “With regards to remote work, all that is required to be approved is for your manager to take responsibility for ensuring you make an excellent contribution.”
The email arrived hours after a former Twitter employee lawsuit The company alleged that Mr. Musk’s new policy discriminated against workers with disabilities.
Minutes later, Mr. Musk sent another email to employees saying managers were on the hook for not lying about solid working as a cover for employees to work from home.
“Any manager who falsely claims that someone is doing an excellent job or that a particular role is essential, remote or not, will be removed from the company,” he wrote.
Three people said Mr. Musk’s team also held meetings with undecided employees who play a key role in Twitter’s operations to try to persuade them to stay. Mr. Musk said on his show that he knows how to win and that whoever wants to win should join him, said someone who spoke with him.
In one of those meetings, some employees were called into a conference room in the San Francisco office while others called in by videoconference. As the 5 p.m. deadline passed, some of those who called began to hang up, apparently deciding to leave, even as Mr. Musk continued talking, two people familiar with the meeting said.
Some workers found time to tell bad jokes. In Twitter’s New York office, the TV giant in a shared space showed a Twitter thread from this week in which a Twitter engineer corrected a statement Mr. Musk made about the company. Then Mr. Musk fired the engineer.
In Slack, other employees have started announcing their resignations. Their farewell notes were greeted with a torrent of saluting emojis.
“I’ve met a lot of friends here,” one employee wrote in a letter seen by The Times. “I will always remember the good times on twtr.”
Kate Conger Contribute to the preparation of reports.
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