How Elon Musk’s Twitter reign fostered a brutal management style | Elon musk

Elon Musk’s reputation precedes him.

The seem to obey the sudden impulse and demand the boss of SpaceX and Tesla is known to place importance on the product above all. And whether the employee building the product agrees with how he plans to achieve his goals, or his own ambitions, they are often expected to go above and beyond – sometimes sleeping on the company floor – to make it happen, or else.

Although there is some precedent for the billionaire’s initial behavior as a leader Twitterlittle could have prepared the employees of the social media platform for what ensued in the first month of its acquisition.

Twitter employees prepared for what will come under Musk’s leadership were given a glimpse of the type of boss he has been over the years. Tesla and SpaceX coverage and numerous lawsuits.

For example, in June, after Musk laid off about 500 workers from the Giga Tesla factory in Sparks, Nevada, two former employees. sue the company for allegedly violating the California Warning (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice) Act, which requires 60 days’ advance notice as well as pay and benefits for that period. In 2017, Musk announced that Tesla’s soon-to-be-released vehicles would have hardware that would eventually allow cars to drive themselves, surprising and upsetting some the company’s own engineer. Musk said so too he expects Tesla employees worked 100 hours a week on the ramp up to release the Model 3. And in 2020, Tesla notoriously dismissed its public relations department.

Workers line up outside a gray tent with a Tesla logo.
Workers wait for a shuttle on May 12, 2020 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, after CEO Elon Musk announced that he is defying local officials’ Covid-19 restrictions. Photo: Stephen Lam / Reuters

At Twitter, day after day of being a billionaire leader, employees are seeing the same pattern. In the second week, almost half of the company’s workforce was laid off with little notice, leaving several people stranded preemptively filed a class-action lawsuit alleging Musk violated California labor laws. Among the layoffs was the company’s communications department, leaving Twitter without a public relations team. Twitter is also facing a second complaint filed on behalf of a group of contractors who also say they were not given notice before they were terminated.

Meanwhile, Musk made a product change announcement, or announcement, on Twitter, and his new employees rushed to act on it, tweeting pictures of sleeping bags on the floor. But as quickly as he got employees to roll out new features like the pay-for-verification Twitter Blue subscription, he’s rolled back because of a slew of problems — including accounts that purport to be verified brands and public figures.

When your team is pushing round the clock to make deadlines sometimes you #SleepWhereYouWork

— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) November 2, 2022


But some of what he has done has gone beyond what has been reported or put into the public arena at Musk’s other companies. Part of that is by design. After a series of employee leaks, Tesla required its employees to “renew their oath” and sign it New secret agreement in 2018 which banned them from speaking with the media. The confidentiality agreement was the subject of a legal challenge from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for violate labor rights.

On Twitter, where the culture before musk allowed for some degree of public pushback or critiques of company policies, employees – or now former employees – also see their voices stifled. Several employees who publicly tweeted corrections or pushed back on Musk’s assertions were fired. In one case, Kasturi publicly announced the termination of a named engineer Eric Frohnhoefer, Tweeting “he was fired” in response to Frohnhoefer’s tweet correcting an assessment Musk made about why this site is so slow. Kasturi later deleted the tweet. Then the CEO of Tesla made light from the terminations. Musk too reported fired an employee who criticized him on Slack, the third-party messaging service employees use internally.

Welcoming back Ligma & Johnson!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2022


On the productivity side, Musk has asked employees to decide whether they’re willing to work long hours “at high intensity” or quit and take a three-month order, New York Times reported. The deadline for their decision was Thursday evening. Many employees – some reports estimate between 1,000 to 1,200 remaining employees – chose to take severance leave leaving some critical roles and teams with skeleton crews.

“Only outstanding achievements will constitute a graduating class,” the letter he wrote to employees read.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer representing Twitter employees and contractors who have been fired said her office had “received calls from Twitter employees seeking clarity on their rights”. Liss-Riordan Filed a A new lawsuit on Thursday, ahead of the deadline, alleging the company’s requirement to come to the office and put in long hours in high intensity is a federal violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The proposed class action was filed on behalf of an engineering manager who said he was fired for refusing to report to the office due to a disability that put him at risk of Covid-19.

“Since he took control of Twitter, Elon Musk has put the company’s employees through pain and uncertainty in a short amount of time,” Liss-Riordan said in a statement. “The latest midnight ultimatum to employees that they have to decide tomorrow if they want to be part of the ‘new Twitter’ has put them in an incredible position.”

Musk’s behavior may shock many, but for former Tesla and SpaceX employees it is not surprising. At SpaceX, eight former employees allege a similar culture of retaliation and filed a complaint with the NLRB on Thursday. I they were fired for challenging Kasturi in an open letter written in June. “Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a source of disturbance and embarrassment to us,” he said. mail read

At Tesla, former employees say that Musk doesn’t care about the product and that negotiating disagreements with the billionaire requires some of the goodwill that is usually developed by building or helping to launch a successful product. Working long hours is also inevitable, said one former Tesla employee, so people have to decide how sustainable it is for them.

Musk’s management style and decisions at Twitter will likely continue to play out publicly due to the nature of the company and the newly appointed social media executive’s proclivity and inability to resist tweeting. By the end of the first week of November, Musk was on pace to tweet more than 25 times a day. But it’s not clear how long Musk plans to stay at the helm of the current platform. In a November 16 hearing challenging how the Tesla CEO got his current $52bn (£44bn) compensation package approved by the board, Musk said he eventually plans to hand over the Twitter reins.

“I hope to reduce my time on Twitter and find something else to run Twitter over time,” he said.

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