After Elon Musk’s ultimatum, Twitter employees start to quit


Nov 17 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Twitter employees are expected to leave the social media company after new owner Elon Musk issued an ultimatum for workers to sign up for “long, high-intensity hours” or quit.

In a survey by workplace app Blind, which verifies employees through their work email addresses and allows them to share information anonymously, 42% of 180 people said, “I use the opt-out option, I’m free!” chose the answer.

A quarter said they chose to stay “reluctantly” and only 7% of respondents said “click yes to stay, I’m tough”.

Musk has been meeting with some senior employees to convince them to stay, said one current employee and a recently departed employee who contacted colleagues on Twitter.

While it’s unclear how many employees chose to stay, the numbers underscore some workers’ reluctance to stay at a company where Musk has rushed to lay off half of his staff, including top management, and has ruthlessly changed the culture to emphasize long hours and work hours. intense tempo.

The company told employees it would close its offices and cut off rosette access until Monday, according to two sources. A source said that security officials started evicting the workers from the office on Thursday evening.

Musk took to Twitter late Thursday to say he wasn’t worried about the resignations because “the best people stay.”

The billionaire owner added that Twitter has reached an all-time high in usage amid the flood of resignations.

“And we hit an all-time high in Twitter usage…” he tweeted, without elaborating.

Twitter, which has lost multiple communications team members, did not respond to a request for comment.

PLATFORM STABILITY

The departures include many engineers to fix bugs and avoid service outages, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of employees.

The version of the Twitter app used by employees began to slow down Thursday evening, according to a source familiar with the matter who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of being disrupted during the night.

“If it breaks, there will be no one left to fix things in many areas,” said the person, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution.

An image of Elon Musk and the Twitter logo are seen through a magnifying glass in this Nov. 4, 2022, file photo. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Reports of outages on Twitter jumped from less than 50 to nearly 350 as of Thursday evening, according to Downdetector, a website that tracks website and app outages.

In a private conversation at Signal with about 50 Twitter employees, about 40 said they had decided to leave, according to a former employee.

In a private Slack group for current and former Twitter employees, about 360 people have joined a new channel called “voluntary layoffs,” a person with knowledge of the Slack group said.

A separate survey conducted by Blind asked employees to estimate what percentage of people would leave Twitter based on their perceptions. More than half of the respondents estimated that at least 50% of employees would quit.

Blue hearts and hello emojis flooded Twitter and its internal chat rooms on Thursday as Twitter employees bid farewell, for the second time in two weeks.

As of 6 p.m. Eastern, more than two dozen Twitter employees in the US and Europe announced their departures in public Twitter posts reviewed by Reuters, although each resignation could not be independently confirmed.

“Going forward, we need to be extremely tough to build Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world,” Musk said in an email to Twitter employees early Wednesday morning.

The email asked staff to click “yes” if they wanted to stay. Those who do not respond by 5 p.m. ET on Thursday will be considered resigned and given a severance package, the email said.

As the deadline loomed, workers scrambled to figure out what to do.

A team within Twitter has decided to take the plunge and leave the company together, a departing employee told Reuters.

Notable departures include Tess Rinearson, who was tasked with building the cryptocurrency team at Twitter. Rinearson tweeted blue heart and hello emojis.

In an apparent blow to Musk’s call for employees to be “hardcore,” the Twitter profiles of several departing engineers on Thursday described themselves as “soft engineers” or “ex-hardcore engineers.”

As the resignations go, Musk joked on Twitter.

“How do you make a small fortune on social media?” tweeted. “Start with a big one.”

Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas, Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Paresh Dave in Oakland, California; Additional reporting by Martin Coulter and Akanksha Khushi; Edited by Sam Holmes

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Paresh Dave

Thomson Reuters

Tech reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area covering Google and the rest of Alphabet Inc. He joined Reuters in 2017 after focusing on the local technology industry at the Los Angeles Times.



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