SAN FRANCISCO: Departures multiplied at Twitter on Thursday, the day after an ultimatum from Elon Musk, owner and boss of Twitter for three weeks, who asked employees who survived the first wave of layoffs to choose between giving themselves “fully, unconditionally “, and leave.
“I may be exceptional, but (…) I’m not unconditional”, for example tweeted Andrea Horst, whose LinkedIn profile still displays “Supply chain manager (survivor) at Twitter”.
She added the hashtag “#lovewhereyouworked”, that is to say “Love the place where you worked”, like dozens of other employees announcing their choice on the platform.
According to several American media, hundreds of employees have chosen to leave.
Half of the 7,500 employees of the Californian group were already dismissed two weeks ago by the multi-billionaire, and some 700 employees had already resigned during the summer, even before being sure that the acquisition would take place.
Thursday evening, many users of the social network, including former collaborators, journalists and analysts, therefore wondered if the end of Twitter would be near.
“And…we just hit a new peak in Twitter usage, lol,” quipped Elon Musk, who bought the platform for $44 billion on October 27.
He also tweeted a skull and crossbones pirate flag and a meme (parody image), showing a man with a blue bird face, posing in front of a tomb also masked with a blue bird, as if Twitter was hilariously witnessing his own funeral.
On Thursday afternoon, Twitter warned all employees that the company’s buildings were temporarily closed and inaccessible, even with a badge, according to an internal letter published by several American media.
“The offices will reopen on Monday, November 21. Thank you for your flexibility. Please continue to comply with house rules by refraining from discussing confidential information on social media, with the press or elsewhere,” the message reads.
On Wednesday, Elon Musk asked employees of the social network individually to commit to “working long hours at high intensity”, “to build a revolutionary Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world”.
“Only an exceptional performance will be worth a sufficient mark,” he said in this internal letter consulted by AFP.
Employees had until Thursday afternoon to click on the “yes” box, under penalty of having to leave Twitter with compensation corresponding to three months’ salary.
A method that clashes even in the United States, where labor law is less protective of employees than in many developed countries.
Thursday evening, anti-Elon Musk messages were projected on the facade of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, right next to the logo, including “Elon Musk, shut up”, “Stop toxic Twitter” or “En before going bankrupt,” according to photos by Gia Vang, a reporter for local NBC.
“A great adventure»
Dozens of current and especially past employees met on Thursday evening in a “Spaces”, the platform’s audio lounges, to support each other and reminisce.
Employees who chose to stay spoke of their unwavering attachment to the social network and their desire to see it survive and even be reborn.
“Bravo to all Twitter workers. You have built a vital place of connection and you deserved so much better. (…) Thank you,” tweeted the elected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I have no words, I’m just grateful to say that I managed to get my dream job and accomplish more than I ever thought possible. It’s been a great adventure,” said tweeted Deanna Hines-Glasgow, an “Ex Tweep,” the nickname for Twitter employees, on Thursday.
“To all the Tweeps who have decided that today will be their last day: thank you for being amazing colleagues through the ups and downs. I can’t wait to see what you do next,” said Esther Crawford, director of product development for the platform, one of the few managers who has neither resigned nor been fired, and who still publicly supports the whimsical leader.