Twitter faces a new wave of departures after Elon Musk’s ultimatum to its employees


Twitter offices on November 1, 2022 in San Francisco.

The day after an ultimatum posed by Elon Musk, departures multiplied at Twitter Thursday, November 17, without knowing precisely how many. The new owner of the social network had asked employees who survived the first wave of layoffs to choose between giving themselves “thoroughly, unconditionally”and leave.

According to several American media, hundreds of employees have chosen to leave. “I may be exceptional, but (…) I am not unconditional”for example tweeted Andrea Horst, whose LinkedIn profile still displays “Supply Chain Manager (survivor) at Twitter”. She added the hashtag “#lovewhereyouworked”that’s to say “love where you worked”like many other employees announcing their choice.

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According to Zoë Schiffer, journalist for the specialized media Platformer, Twitter warned all employees on Thursday afternoon that the offices were temporarily closed and inaccessible, even with a badge.

Thursday evening, many users of the social network, including ex-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 Muskwhich bought the platform for $44 billion on October 27.

He also tweeted a skull pirate flag and a meme (parody image), showing a man with the face of a bluebird, posing in front of a tomb also masked with a bluebird, as if Twitter was hilariously attending its own funeral.

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“Building a revolutionary Twitter 2.0”

On Wednesday, Elon Musk had individually asked employees of the social network to commit to “working long hours at high intensity”, “to build a revolutionary Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world”. And to specify:

“Only outstanding performance will earn a sufficient mark. »

Employees had until Thursday afternoon to click on the box ” yes “, 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.

But in an email on Thursday, Musk backtracked on telecommuting, which he opposed, hitting many employees. He let it be known that, in order to stay, it was necessary that [leur] superior takes responsibility for ensuring that[ils apportent] an excellent contribution”. Workers would also be expected to have “face-to-face meetings with [leurs] colleagues at a reasonable pace, ideally once a week, but no less than once a month”.

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On Thursday night, anti-Elon Musk messages were projected onto the facade of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, right next to the company’s logo. For example, you could read “Elon Musk, shut up”, “Stop toxic Twitter” Where “Onward to Bankruptcy”as evidenced by the photos of Gia Vang, a journalist for the local branch of the NBC channel.

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Layoffs after Elon Musk criticism

Half of the group’s 7,500 employees were already fired two weeks ago by the multi-billionaire, while others left voluntarily in the days that followed. Some 700 employees had already resigned during the summer, even before being sure that the acquisition would take place. Earlier this week, Elon Musk also began firing a small group of engineers who challenged him publicly or in the company’s internal Slack messaging system.

Dozens of current and especially past employees gathered Thursday evening in a sspaces, 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.

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“To all the Tweeps [le surnom des employés de Twitter] who decided that today would 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 new leader.

“Well done to all Twitter workers. You have built a vital place of connection and you deserved so much better. (…) Thanks “, tweeted the elected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This new round of departures comes as Twitter prepares for the 2022 World Cup, one of the most talked about events on Twitter that could potentially overwhelm its systems.

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Le Monde with AP and AFP





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