Hundreds of staff say no to joining Elon Musk's 'very rigorous' Twitter Team

Hundreds of staff say no to joining Elon Musk’s ‘very rigorous’ Twitter Team

According to internal Slack communications viewed by The Verge and employee tweets, hundreds of Twitter’s surviving workers have quit ahead of Elon Musk’s “very harsh” culture reset of the firm.

The new purging of Twitter workers follows Musk’s previous firing of scores of staff who attacked or insulted him in tweets and internal letters. Musk then set a deadline of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday for all workers to answer “yes” on a Google form if they wish to remain for “Twitter 2.0”; otherwise, today is their last day of work and they will get a severance payout. Following the deadline, hundreds of staff began sending goodbye notes and salute emojis on Twitter’s Slack, signalling that they had refused Musk’s ultimatum.

“I’m not pressing the button,” said one leaving employee on Slack. “My watch ends with Twitter 1.0. I do not wish to be part of Twitter 2.0.”

Twitter had around 2,900 workers left before the deadline Thursday, owing to Musk’s unceremonious dismissal of nearly half of the 7,500-person staff when he took control, as well as the resignations that followed. Remaining and leaving Twitter workers told The Verge that, given the size of this week’s resignations, they anticipate the platform to collapse shortly. One claimed they’ve seen “renowned engineers” and others they like go one by one.

“It feels like all the people who made this place incredible are leaving,” the Twitter staffer said. “It will be extremely hard for Twitter to recover from here, no matter how hardcore the people who remain try to be.”

Multiple “important” teams at Twitter have now either totally or almost completely departed, according to other workers who sought anonymity in order to talk without Musk’s consent. This comprises the traffic and front-end teams at Twitter, which direct engineering requests to the appropriate back-end services. The team that maintains Twitter’s core system libraries, which are used by every developer at the firm, has also left. “You can’t operate Twitter without this stuff,” claimed one outgoing employee.

Several members of Twitter’s “Command Center” team, a group of engineers who are on call around the clock and operate as a clearing house for internal difficulties, also posted about their leaving. “If they go down, there is no one to call when shit breaks,” said a person familiar with how the team operates. The staff in charge of managing the Twitter API for developers has also been drastically reduced.

In a tweet Thursday evening, Musk said: “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”

As Twitter’s new owner, his first objective has been to dramatically change the company’s work culture. In an email to employees this week, he wrote: “Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”

Many staff have expressed dissatisfaction with Musk’s managerial style, and Musk has become worried that they may destroy the firm. According to individuals familiar with the conversation, he met with a small group of top engineers earlier on Thursday to learn why so many of them wanted to depart. Shortly after Musk’s deadline to remain at the firm passed, an unsigned email was issued to staff informing them that badge access to the company’s offices had been banned “effective immediately” until Monday.

Departing Twitter workers have been promised they would be paid for at least three months, but they have yet to examine their separation agreements. Employees that remain are also unsure how Musk intends to pay them with the stock now that Twitter is a private business, though he has said that “exceptional” employees would earn stock options, as they do at SpaceX, his other privately-held company.

Meanwhile, according to a message, Twitter recruiters have already begun reaching out to outside developers to see if they want to join “Twitter 2.0 – an Elon company.”

“I’ve been with Twitter for almost 11 years,” one employee commented in Twitter’s Slack as the salute emojis flooded in on Thursday. “Back in July, I was the 27th most tenured employee at the company. Now I’m the fifteenth.”

“Where did all these chopped onions come from?” said another employee.