After Elon Musk’s ultimatum, Twitter employees began to walk out

Nov 17 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Twitter employees are expected to leave the troubled social media company after an ultimatum from new boss Elon Musk that employees sign up for “high-intensity hours,” or leave.

In a poll on the Blind workplace application, which verifies employees through their work email address and allows them to share anonymous information, 42% of 180 people chose the answer to “Take the option out, I’m free!”

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

Musk met with several top employees to try and convince them to stay, said a current and recently departed employee who has ties to a Twitter colleague.

Although it is not clear how many employees chose to stay, the numbers highlight the reluctance of some employees to stay at a company where Musk quickly fired half of his employees including top management, and ruthlessly changed the culture to emphasize long hours and one. intense speed.

The company notified employees that it would close its offices and cut off badge access until Monday, according to two sources. Security officials had started kicking employees out of the office on Thursday evening, a source said.

Musk took to Twitter late Thursday and said he wasn’t worried about the resignation as “the best people stay.”

The billionaire owner amid the flood of resignations also added that Twitter has reached an all-time high in usage.

“And we just hit another one in the use of Twitter…”, he said in a tweet, without explaining.

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

PLATFORM STABILITY

The departure includes many engineers responsible for fixing bugs and preventing service outages, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of employees.

On Thursday evening, the version of the Twitter app used by employees began to slow down, according to a source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of crashing during the night.

“If it’s broken, there’s nothing left to fix things in many areas,” said the person, who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

A photo of Elon Musk and the Twitter logo seen through a magnifying glass in this illustration taken November 4, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Reports of Twitter takedowns rose sharply from less than 50 to about 350 reports on Thursday evening, according to the website Downdetector, which tracks website and app outages.

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

And in a private Slack group for current and former Twitter employees, about 360 people joined a new channel titled “voluntary-layoff,” a person with knowledge of the Slack group said.

A separate poll on Blind asked staff to estimate what percentage of people would leave Twitter based on their perceptions. More than half of respondents expected at least 50% of employees to leave.

Blue heart and greeting emojis flooded Twitter and its internal chat rooms on Thursday, the second time in two weeks that Twitter employees said hello.

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

Earlier on Wednesday, Musk sent an email to Twitter employees, saying: “In the future, to build the Twitter 2.0 breakthrough and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we must be very hardcore”.

The email asks staff to click “yes” if they want to stick. Those who do not respond by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday will be considered out and given a severance package, the email said.

When the deadline approached, employees scrambled to find out what to do.

A team at Twitter decided to jump together and leave the company, one employee went to Reuters.

Notable departures include Tess Rinearson, who was tasked with building the cryptocurrency team at Twitter. Rinearson tweeted blue heart and salute emojis.

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

As the resignation rolled around, Musk cracked a joke on Twitter.

“How do you make a small fortune on social media?” he tweeted. “Start out with the big one.”

Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas, Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Paresh Dave in Oakland, California; Additional reporting by Martin Coulter and Akanksha Khushi; Editing by Sam Holmes

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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