Elon Musk issued an ultimatum on Wednesday, and as a result, Twitter offices are closing and staff members are quitting in droves. According to the Verge, the CEO of Twitter demanded that staff members either agree to the company’s “very strict” culture of “long hours at high intensity” or accept severance pay. According to The Washington Post, anyone who did not sign the commitment by Thursday at 5 p.m. ET would receive three months of severance pay.
According to the New York Times, hundreds of resignations began to pour in hours before the curtain call. Additionally, Twitter later sent out an email announcing that it will close its office buildings and disable employee badge access until Monday as waves of employees choose to take the three months’ severance package.
According to sources, Musk and his aides spoke with “important” Twitter employees ahead of the deadline on Thursday in an effort to keep them from quitting. Additionally, he appeared to change his mind about not allowing workers to work from home in unclear communications regarding the organization’s remote work policy.
The departure of Twitter is the latest in a long series of developments that have affected the business since Musk’s $44 billion takeover. Musk sacked key executives, cut the workforce in half, and fired any surviving employees who dared to rub his ego the wrong way on Twitter earlier this month.
Musk presented Wednesday’s 36-hour notice to depart or commit to “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0” as a method to offer the company a competitive edge, but the measure is likely to be more about protecting the company’s interests an attempt to cut costs as the possibility of bankruptcy looms closer.
Even though Musk has tried to stop the employee loss by bringing in engineers and managers from his other companies, like Tesla, sources claim that many of them are not familiar with social media.
The departure of thousands of employees in such a short period of time raises questions about how Twitter will continue to manage misinformation and carry out day-to-day operations in the future.
One former Twitter worker who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC: “I think when the dust clears today, there’s probably going to be less than 2,000 people left.”
They added that everyone in their team had been terminated.
“The manager of that team, his manager was terminated. And then that manager’s manager was terminated. The person above that was one of the execs terminated on the first day. So there’s nobody left in that chain of command.”
Before Mr Musk took control of Twitter the company had around 8,000 staff. The firm was also reported to have employed thousands of contract workers, the majority of which are understood to have been laid off.
Another person said they had resigned even though they had been prepared to take on the increased workload demanded by Mr Musk.
“I didn’t want to work for someone who threatened us over email multiple times about only ‘exceptional tweeps should work here’ when I was already working 60-70 hours weekly,” they said.
The world’s richest person became Twitter’s chief executive after buying the firm last month in a $44bn (£37bn) deal.
After the message about Twitter’s offices being closed was sent and in an apparent reference to the problems he has faced since buying the firm, Mr Musk tweeted: “How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one.”