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

Nov 17 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Twitter employees are estimated to be leaving the embattled social media company following an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk, saying employees could log “highly intense long hours” or be forced to quit.

In a survey about workplace app Blind, which allows employees to verify by work email addresses and share information anonymously, 42% of 180 said “I take the opt-out, I’m free!” have chosen the answer to

A quarter said they chose to stay “reluctantly,” and only 7% of those polled said they “clicked yes to stay, I’m hardcore.”

Musk met with some high-level employees to try to get them to stay, according to a current employee and a recently departed employee who is in touch with Twitter colleagues.

While it’s unclear how many employees have chosen to stay, some employees are reluctant to stay at a company where Musk has rushed to lay off half of his staff, including top management, and is ruthlessly changing the culture to emphasize long hours and hours. extreme speed.

The company notified employees that it would close its offices and reduce badge access until Monday, according to two sources. Security officials have started evacuating employees from the office on Thursday evening, a source said.

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

The billionaire owner added an all-time high in Twitter usage amid a flood of resignations.

“And we’ve hit another big hit on the Twitter app…”, he said in a tweet, without elaborating.

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

Platform stability

The departures include many engineers responsible for fixing bugs and preventing service outages, raising questions about the platform’s stability amid the loss of staff.

On Thursday evening, the version of the Twitter app used by employees started slowing down, according to a source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of breaking overnight.

“When it breaks, there’s no one in many areas to fix things,” said the person, who declined to be named for fear of retaliation.

Elon Musk’s image and the Twitter logo are seen through a magnifying glass in this illustration taken on Nov. 4, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Twitter crash reports rose sharply from less than 50 to about 350 reports Thursday evening, according to Downdetector, a website that tracks website and app crashes.

In a private chat on Signal with about 50 Twitter employees, the former employee said nearly 40 had decided to leave.

In a private Slack group for current and former Twitter employees, about 360 people have joined a new channel titled “Voluntary-Layoffs,” a person familiar with the Slack group said.

A separate survey of blind people asked employees to estimate what percentage would leave Twitter based on their perception. More than half of the respondents estimated that at least 50% of the workforce would leave.

Blue hearts and salute emojis flooded Twitter and its internal chat rooms on Thursday, the second time in two weeks that Twitter employees said their goodbyes.

By 6 p.m. Eastern, more than two dozen Twitter employees across the U.S. and Europe announced their departures in public Twitter posts reviewed by Reuters, although each resignation could not be independently verified.

Early Wednesday, Musk sent an email to Twitter employees: “Moving forward, we have to work harder to create a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world.”

The email asked employees to click “yes” if they wanted to stick around. Those who do not respond by 5 p.m. ET on Thursday will be considered out and given a severance package, the email said.

As the deadline loomed, the staff were at a loss as to what to do.

A team at Twitter has decided to leave the company together, an outgoing employee told Reuters.

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

In Musk’s call for employees to be “hardcore,” the Twitter profile bios of several departing engineers on Thursday described themselves as “softcore engineers” or “former hardcore engineers.”

As the resignations rolled in, Musk cracked a joke on Twitter.

“How do you make a small fortune on social media?” he tweeted. “Start something big.”

Reporting by Sheila Tang in Dallas, Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Paresh Dave in Oakland, Calif.; Additional reporting by Martin Coulter and Akansha Khushi; Editing by Sam Holmes

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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