Twitter exodus begins after Musk's 'hardcore' ultimatum

He already fired half of the company's 7,500 staff, scrapped a work-from-home policy, and imposed long hours

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters


Published: Fri 18 Nov 2022, 6:47 AM

On Thursday, employee departures were multiplying at Twitter after an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk, who demanded staff choose between being "extremely hardcore" and working intense, long hours, or losing their jobs.

One former employee, Andrea Horst, whose LinkedIn profile still reads "Supply Chain & Capacity Management (Survivor) @Twitter", added the hashtag "#lovewhereyouworked", as did many other employees announcing their choice.

Musk — also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX — has come under fire for radical changes at the social media company, which he bought for $44 billion late last month.

He already fired half of the company's 7,500 staff, scrapped a work-from-home policy and imposed long hours, all while his attempts to overhaul Twitter have faced chaos and delays.


His stumbling attempts to revamp user verification with a controversial subscription service have led to a slew of fake accounts and pranks, prompting major advertisers to step away from the platform.

The troubled social media network's management told employees on Thursday that offices were temporarily closed and inaccessible, even with a badge, according to Zoe Schiffer, a journalist for the tech industry newsletter Platformer.

"Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore," Musk wrote in the ultimatum, an internal memo sent on Wednesday and seen by AFP.

"This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade," he added.

Staff had been asked to follow a link to affirm their commitment to "the new Twitter" by 5pm New York time (22.00 GMT) on Thursday.

If they did not do so, they lost their jobs, receiving three months of severance pay -- an unusual method even in the United States, where labour laws are less protective for employees than in many other developed countries.

Twitter did not respond to AFP requests for comment on the new measure.

"No words just grateful to say I was able to get my dream job and do more than I ever thought possible. It's been a wild ride," Deanna Hines-Glasgow, who was a senior client account manager at Twitter, tweeted on Thursday, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Esther Crawford, the platform's director of product development and one of the few managers who has not been fired, not resigned and who still publicly supports the new leader, tweeted:

"To all the Tweeps who decided to make today your last day: thanks for being incredible teammates through the ups and downs.

"I can't wait to see what you do next."

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