Inside Twitter, the “mass exodus” of staff throws the platform’s future into uncertainty | Techy Kings


New York
CNN Business

Death is in the air on Twitter.

On the platform last Thursday night, with #RIPTwitter trending worldwide, users wrote what they feared might be their final posts, with anxious farewells and listing the other (more stable) social media platforms where they can still be found.

They reacted to the terrible news coming from within Twitter. Scores of remaining employees at the social media company on Thursday appeared to reject owner Elon Musk’s ultimatum to work “extremely hard,” throwing the communications platform into total disarray and raising serious questions about how long it will survive.

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Inside the company’s Slack, there was a virtual mass exodus after Musk’s 5 p.m. deadline for employees to come to a decision passed. Hundreds of employees appear to have called it quits, accepting Musk’s offer to quit in exchange for three months’ severance pay.

Employees flooded the “#social-watercooler” channel with greeting emojis, indicating they had chosen not to sign Musk’s pledge. A similar series of events unfolded in the Slack channel earlier this month when Musk eliminated roughly 50% of the company’s then-7,500-person workforce.

A former Twitter executive, who recently left the company, described the situation as a “mass exodus.” When asked about the situation, the former CEO said: “Elon is learning that he can’t bully top talent. They have a lot of options and won’t put up with his antics.”

“They will struggle just to keep the lights on,” the former boss added.

That assessment was widely shared by the other half-dozen current and former employees on Thursday. It was already bad enough after Musk implemented mass layoffs at the company earlier this month. So bad that Twitter asked some of the people it had let go to come back just days later. The situation has only gotten worse since then.

In fact, Twitter management was in panic mode hours before the deadline, people familiar with the matter said, explaining that senior executives were “scrambling” to convince talent to stay at the company.

Musk himself finally seemed to recognize the bleak state of affairs, sending an email to all employees relaxing his previously uncompromising anti-remote work stance. “When it comes to telecommuting, all that’s required for approval is that your boss takes responsibility for making sure you’re doing an excellent job,” Musk said in the email.

It didn’t seem to do much good.

Two employees who had decided to reject Musk’s ultimatum on Thursday were quite clear about why they did so. “I don’t want to stick around to build a product that is poisoned from the inside out,” one said, later adding that he felt good about making a decision “in line with what I stand for.”

A recently fired employee who stays in touch with former co-workers said: “People don’t want to sacrifice their mental health and family life to make the richest man in the world richer.”

And Twitter seemed to understand the mess on its hands Thursday night, sending an email to staff notifying them that it has once again closed all of its offices and disabled access to employee badges, presumably to protect its systems and data.

Twitter’s already decimated communications department did not respond to requests for comment. But Musk addressed the situation in a tweet.

“How do you make a small fortune on social media?” asked Musk. “Start with a big one.”


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