Hundreds of Twitter’s remaining employees have resigned ahead of Elon Musk’s “extremely hardcore” cultural reset of the company, according to internal Slack messages seen by The Verge and employee tweets.
The fresh purge of Twitter’s ranks comes after Musk recently fired dozens of employees who criticized or mocked him in tweets and internal messages. Musk then set a deadline of 5PM ET on Thursday for all employees to respond “yes” on a Google form if they want to stay for what he is calling “Twitter 2.0;” otherwise, November 17 would be their final day of work and they would receive a severance package.
According to The Verge, after the deadline hit, hundreds of employees quickly started posting farewell messages and salute emojis in Twitter’s Slack, announcing they had said no to Musk’s ultimatum.
Twitter had roughly 2,900 remaining employees before the deadline Thursday, thanks to Musk unceremoniously laying off about half of the 7,500-person workforce when he took over and the resignations that followed. Remaining and departing Twitter employees told The Verge that, given the scale of the resignations this week, they expect the platform to start breaking soon. One said that they’ve watched “legendary engineers” and others they look up to leave one by one.
On November 17, Elon Musk tweeted the following response to someone asking questions about Twitter’s potential shutdown. Elon Musk tweeted: “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”
The Washington Post reported that hundreds of Twitter employees refused Thursday to sign a pledge to work longer hours, threatening the site’s ability to keep operating and prompting hurried debates among managers over who should be asked to return, current and former employees alike.
According to The Washington Post, the number of engineers tending to multiple critical systems had been reduced to two, one, or even zero, according to people familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
In an early sign that the number of those declining to sign was greater than anticipated, Musk eased off a return-to-office mandate he had issued a week ago, telling employees Thursday they would be allowed to work remotely if their managers assert they are making “an excellent contribution.”
The Washington Post also reported: Workers offered varying estimates of how many people remained employed at Twitter, ranging from 2,000 to 2,500, down from the 3,500 or so believed to have remained after an initial round of layoffs affecting roughly half the staff this month. Access cutoffs have been delayed, because they are not sure who is gone, because most of human resources left, according to one of the employees.
As I am typing this, it appears that Twitter is still up and running. The question becomes, how long do Twitter users have before it completely collapses? Personally, I’ve seen many tweets in which people attempt to let their friends know which other social media sites they can be found at.