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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Twitter employees quitting after Musk’s ‘Work long hours or leave’ statement

Hundreds of Twitter employees are estimated to be leaving the beleaguered social media company following an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk that employees put in “long, high-intensity hours” or quit.

Elon Musk is known for working long hours and so he implements in his companies. Twitter employees who have been working relatively low hours started resigning after Elon gave an ultimatum to work for longer hours or leave.

In a survey of job app Blind, which verifies employees through their work email addresses and allows them to share information anonymously, 42% of 180 people chose the answer to the question “Taking exit option, I’m free!”

A quarter said they chose to stay “reluctantly” and only 7% of survey participants said they “clicked yes to stay, I’m hardcore”.

Musk has met with some top employees to try to convince them to stay, one current employee said, and a recently departed employee who keeps in touch with colleagues on Twitter.

While it’s unclear how many employees have decided to stay, the numbers underscore the reluctance of some employees to remain at a company where Musk has rushed to lay off half of his staff, including top management, and is ruthlessly changing the culture to emphasize long hours and an intense pace.

The company told employees it would close its offices and restrict access to badges until Monday, according to two sources. Security officers began evicting employees from the office on Thursday evening, one source said.

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

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

And 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 at Blind asked employees to estimate what percentage of people would leave Twitter based on their perceptions. More than half of respondents estimate that at least 50% of employees will leave.

Blue hearts and greeting emoticons flooded Twitter and its internal chat rooms Thursday, the second time in two weeks that Twitter employees said their goodbyes.

By 6 p.m. Eastern, more than two dozen Twitter employees across the United States and Europe had announced their departures in public Twitter posts reviewed by Reuters, although each resignation could not be independently verified.

Early Wednesday, Musk said in an email to Twitter employees: “In the future, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore.”

The email asked employees to click “yes” if they wanted to stay. Anyone who didn’t hear back by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday would be considered terminated and given severance pay, the email said.

As the deadline approached, the staff scrambled to figure out what to do.

One team within Twitter has decided to take a step together and leave the company, one departing employee told Reuters.

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

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