Elon Musk Shows That He’s Played Himself As Mass Resignations Wash Over Twitter

Fun fact: I actually wrote this story at 5:30 PM today. But I sat on it even though I was already getting news of what was happening. The reason for that is that I wanted to see how Elon Musk would respond to the news that many outlets including CNBC are reporting. But as far as I can tell, he hasn’t responded. But before I pressed the publish button just after 7PM tonight, a lot did happen. Let’s start from the beginning…

Remember the demand by Elon that the 3000 or so employees that are left at Twitter had to make? As in join Twitter 2.0 and be “hardcore” or resign. It appears that employees are choosing the latter in huge numbers:

Internal Slack messages shared with CNBC showed engineers and other employees posting goodbye messages to a “watercooler” chat group in the run up to 5 p.m. ET Thursday deadline that Musk set just a day earlier. 

Hundreds of salute emojis (which convey the message “thank you for your service”) streamed by, along with dozens of goodbye messages.

Three Twitter employees who spoke with CNBC asked to remain nameless, citing fear of professional retaliation. All three were planning to resign on Thursday. It was not clear exactly how many Twitter employees resigned. 

“The train has started in #social-watercooler” one of the employees said, referring to a Slack room where Twitter employees have used in recent weeks to notify others that they are leaving.

CNN backs up the CNBC report:

Another employee exodus appears to be underway at Twitter as many workers rejected Elon Musk’s ultimatum to work “extremely hardcore,” choosing instead to depart the company, according to multiple current and former employees.

As the deadline approached for Twitter employees to respond to Elon Musk’s ultimatum to commit to working in an “extremely hardcore” fashion at the company or leave, some employees appeared to publicly indicate they had chosen the latter option. On Thursday afternoon, Twitter staffers began posting the salute emoji, which has become a signal that someone is exiting the company. One Twitter employee said in a tweet that deciding to join the company was “one of the easiest decisions ever made. Deciding to leave today was 100% the opposite.”

Meanwhile, an internal Slack channel at the company was filled with employees posting the salute emoji after the 5pm ET deadline, indicating they had chosen not to sign Musk’s pledge and depart the company, employees told CNN.

And:

Two Twitter employees told CNN ahead of the deadline on Thursday that they planned to reject the ultimatum, citing a toxic work environment they say the billionaire has introduced. Another Twitter employee told CNN Wednesday they were still weighing the decision, saying the email from Musk “felt like a punch in the gut because no matter how you felt about wanting to stay or wanting to go, you were forced to make a decision and feel like you’re up against the time clock to make the best decision for you and your family.”

This clearly caught Musk and his lackeys off guard as they clearly thought that people would just buy in even if they didn’t want to. Well, they called that one wrong. And now that a lot of people are leaving, and clearly those people know how Twitter works because Musk doesn’t know how Twitter works, Musk is freaking out. Thus Musk then did this:

Later on Thursday, amid an apparent scramble by management to avoid losing too many workers to the ultimatum, Musk sent an email to staff attempting to clarify his position on remote work, according to text of the email obtained by CNN from a Twitter employee who asked not to be identified. 

“Regarding remote work, all that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution,” Musk said in the email, adding that workers would be expected to attend in-person meetings no less than once a month. 

Twenty minutes later, Musk sent a follow up email saying: “At risk of stating the obvious, any manager who falsely claims that someone reporting to them is doing excellent work or that a given role is essential, whether remote or not, will be exited from the company.”

At this point, Musk has nothing left to convince people that Twitter is a good place to work at. He’s burned pretty much every bridge by his erratic behaviour with no path to recover from this. I am pretty sure that we will now see Twitter enter a death spiral where the site becomes pretty unstable. Much as I predicted yesterday:

And as bad as this is. And folks, this is very very VERY bad. It gets even worse. If that’s even possible:

But wait… Isn’t Elon the one sabotaging the company? Of course he doesn’t see it that way. But the fact that he’s locked people out of their offices is just insane. There’s no other way to put it. And for the record, I have never seen this sort of situation happen before in the over quarter century that I’ve been in the tech space.

In any case, there is one person to blame for this whole situation. And that person is Elon Musk. Unless there’s a dramatic turnaround, he’s putting the final nails in Twitter’s coffin.

Congratulations Elon, you played yourself.

2 Responses to “Elon Musk Shows That He’s Played Himself As Mass Resignations Wash Over Twitter”

  1. […] from Elon Musk’s demand that staff sign onto his demand that Twitter employees be “hardcore“. It seems significant parts of Twitter’s financial groups are […]

  2. […] reason why Elon really played himself, again, with this stunt is that Trump doesn’t want to go back to […]

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