According to former employees and some American media, hundreds of employees answered “no” to the ultimatum of the new owner and boss, who gave them a choice between working tirelessly “to build a revolutionary Twitter 2.0” or departure. with three months salary. Half of the California group’s 7,500 employees were already dismissed by the multi-billionaire two weeks ago, and about 700 employees resigned during the summer, before it was even confirmed that the acquisition would take place.
“My friends are gone, the vision is blurry, the storm is coming and there is no financial incentive. What are you going to do? Are you going to sacrifice your time with your children during the holidays for vague promises and (to ) make someone rich. richer?”, summarized Peter Clowes, computer engineer and director at Twitter and “survivor of layoffs”, according to his LinkedIn profile. Like many other employees of the Californian group, he detailed his -skepticism and the reasons for his choice, explaining that he does not “hate Elon Musk”, that he understands some of the boss’s decisions and wants to “see Twitter succeed”. But according to him, ” only three engineers out of the 75″ are in his team.
At the end of Twitter?
“If I had stayed, I would have been almost always on duty, with very little unspecified support on complex computer systems in which I had no experience,” he said. In addition, “no vision was shared with us. There was no five-year plan like Tesla’s. (…) It was a pure test of honesty”, he explained. “What should Twitter do now?” Elon Musk tweeted on Friday. The boss of Tesla wanted to buy the California company in the spring, then he didn’t want it anymore in the summer, and was forced to take it at the end of October for 44 billion dollars, to avoid a lawsuit, over excessive debt . .
Since the acquisition, he has mobilized teams day and night on controversial projects, which had to be postponed. He launched a massive social plan before having to worry about important people and he made promises to advertisers while threatening them. Many users of the social network, including former collaborators, journalists and analysts, wonder if the end of Twitter is near. “And… we just hit a new peak in Twitter usage, lol,” quipped Elon Musk on Thursday night. He also tweeted a skull and crossbones pirate flag and a meme (parody image), showing a man with a bluebird face, posing in front of a tomb also wearing a bluebird mask, as if the Twitter is happily witnessing his own funeral.
The employees chose to stay
On Thursday afternoon, Twitter warned all employees that the company’s buildings are temporarily closed and inaccessible, even with a badge, according to an internal letter published by several American media. Thursday night, anti-Elon Musk messages were displayed in front of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, right next to the logo, including “Elon Musk, shut up”, “Stop toxic Twitter” or “En before going bankrupt,” according to photos by Gia Vang, a reporter for local NBC. Dozens of current and especially past employees met on Thursday night in a “Spaces”, the platform’s audio lounges, to support each other and share memories. Employees who chose to stay spoke of their unwavering attachment to the social network and their desire to see it survive and even be reborn.
“Bravo to all the workers on Twitter. You have created an important place of connection and you deserve much better. (…) Thank you”, tweeted the elected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while indicating where found on other platforms, if ever that was the end of the tweeting network. Other elected officials and regulators reacted, particularly concerned about the idea that the service’s ability to moderate content was compromised. US senators have warned that Elon Musk’s plans “undermine the integrity and security of the platform”. The multi-billionaire “can’t do what he wants” in Europe, hammered Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, to franceinfo on Friday. “He knows what the conditions are for the continued operation of Twitter in Europe,” he added, stressing the need to recruit more moderators instead of firing them. In France, Twitter’s general manager since 2015, Damien Viel, announced in a tweet on Sunday that he was leaving the company.