Twitter offices are closing and workers 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, high-intensity hours” or leave with severance pay, the To forget reported. Anyone who failed to sign the pledge by 5 p.m. ET on Thursday would reportedly receive three months of severance pay, The Washington Post reported.
Hours before the curtain closed, hundreds of layoffs poured in, according to the New York Times. And when a wave of employees opted for the three-month severance package, Twitter later announced via email that it would close their office buildings and disable access to the employee badge until Monday.
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Before Thursday’s deadline, Musk and his advisers met with “critical” Twitter employees in an attempt to dissuade them from leaving, reports say. He also appeared to back away from his stance on not allowing people to work from home in confusing posts about the company’s remote work policies.
The Twitter exodus follows the growing list of changes the company has undergone since Musk’s $44 billion acquisition. Earlier this month, Musk fired top executives, laid off half the workforce, and fired any remaining staff who dared to hurt 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 advantage, the move is most likely an effort to cut costs, as the possibility of bankruptcy is approaching.
As news of the dire situation spread on Twitter, #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter were the most popular hashtags as users took time to reminisce on the social media platform before the lights went out. Many also shared links to other (more reliable) services such as Instagram, Twitch, YouTube and even newcomers like Mastodon.
While Musk has tried to ease the bleeding workforce by bringing in engineers and executives from his other companies, including Tesla, many of them are unfamiliar with how social media works, reports said.
The future of how Twitter will maintain its ability to deal with misinformation and operate on a day-to-day basis is unclear, given that its thousands of employees have left in such a short period of time.
The number of technicians required to service Twitter’s critical systems has dropped to two or even zero Washington Post reported. “I know of six critical systems (such as ‘serving tweets’ levels of criticism) that have run out of technicians,” a former employee told the After. “There isn’t even a skeleton crew manning the system anymore. It will keep rolling until it bumps into something, and then it will stop.
Shortly after news of the latest departure, Elon Musk tweeted, “How do you make a small fortune on social media? Start with a big one.”
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