Resignations roil Twitter as Musk tries persuading some workers to stay
Musk, Twitter’s new owner, had given employees a Thursday deadline to decide whether to leave or stay “to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0.”
By Ryan Mac, Mike Isaac and David McCabe, New York Times Service
Hours before a Thursday deadline that Elon Musk had given Twitter employees to decide whether to stay or leave their jobs, the social media company appeared to be in disarray.
Musk and his advisers held meetings with some Twitter workers whom they deemed “critical” to stop them from leaving, four people with knowledge of the conversations said. He sent out confusing messages about the company’s remote work policy, appearing to soften his stance on not allowing people to work from home before warning their managers, according to those people and internal emails viewed by The New York Times.
All the while, two people said, resignations started to roll in. By the deadline, 5 p.m. Eastern time, hundreds of Twitter employees appeared to have decided to depart with three months of severance pay, the people said. Twitter later announced via email that it would close “our office buildings” and disable employee badge access until Monday.
Their exits added to the turmoil at Twitter since Musk, 51, completed his $44 billion takeover last month. The billionaire has laid off half of Twitter’s 7,500 full-time workers, fired dissenters and told employees that they need to be “extremely hard core” to make the company a success.
On Wednesday, Musk gave Twitter’s remaining employees just under 36 hours to leave or commit to building “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0.” He positioned the move as a way to make the company the most competitive it could be, though the action also provided an opportunity to further cut costs and purge the firm of disaffected workers.
The shedding of so many employees in such a compressed period has raised questions about how Twitter will keep operating effectively. While Musk has brought in some engineers and managers from his other companies, such as the electric automaker Tesla, many of them are just coming up to speed on how the social media service works, five people said.
On Thursday, seven Democratic senators called for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the company had violated a consumer privacy agreement with the agency since Musk took over. The letter followed the resignations of Twitter’s security executives last week after Musk appeared to change some of the company’s data security practices.
A spokesperson for the FTC declined to comment. Musk has said he plans to abide by the privacy agreement.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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