Twitter plays its survival. Hundreds of employees – and perhaps more – resigned on Thursday, the day after an ultimatum from Elon Musk, who asked employees who survived the first wave of layoffs to choose between “completely and unconditionally” and leave. The multi-billionaire had laid off half of the group’s 7,500 employees two weeks ago.
According to trade media, many engineers have slammed the door, including some dealing with critical network infrastructure tools, which may therefore face serious turmoil in the coming days. Adding to the confusion, the company’s headquarters has been placed under lockdown until Monday while the situation is clarified.
On Wednesday, Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion three weeks ago, individually asked the social network’s employees for a “hardcore” commitment to “work long hours at high intensity to build a revolutionary Twitter 2.0 and… succeed in an increasingly competitive world.
“Only an exceptional performance is worth a sufficient mark”, he specified in this internal letter consulted by AFP. Employees had to click the “yes” box by Thursday afternoon or they would have to leave Twitter with compensation equal to three months’ salary. A management strongly denounced this, especially since many foreign employees cannot stay in the USA without a visa.
According to The Verge, hundreds of employees and possibly as many as 1,000 – although it’s unclear if they will all leave – have not ticked the “yes” box. On the company’s internal Slack, many employees announced their departure with a military salute emoji.
“And just like that, after 12 years, I left Twitter. I have nothing but love for all my dear tweeps (nickname for company employees). I love Twitter and will bleed blue forever,” tweeted engineer Satanjeev Banerjee. His colleague Parker Lyons chose the song I’m gone (I’m Gone) by Oliver Tree.
Fear of collapse or worse
According to Zoë Schiffer, a journalist for the specialist medium Platformer, Twitter warned all employees on Thursday afternoon that the offices were temporarily closed and not accessible even with a badge.
According to The Verge, “critical” teams have quit, including the one that maintains the system libraries that all Twitter engineers use. “You can’t run Twitter without this team,” a site official said on condition of anonymity.
Corresponding New York Times, Elon Musk has been dispatching engineers from Tesla for the past few weeks, but it will take them time to become familiar with Twitter and its computer code. In the meantime, the site can continue to operate on autopilot, but unexpected issues can result in an outage that may be difficult to troubleshoot.
As his business goes through turmoil, Elon Musk quipped Thursday night: “How do you make a small fortune on social media?” Starting with a big one. »