Shortly after Elon Musk officially bought Twitter on October 27 for $44 billion, the Tesla (TSLA)- Get a Free Report The CEO took the company private and started cutting staff.
He fired Twitter’s CEO, Chief Financial Officer and other executives. His vision for the company involved a much smaller workforce, so a mass layoff began. About 3,700 people were laid off, about half of the company’s employees.
Many Twitter workers found their jobs gone in an inexplicable fashion. Some were unable to log into their laptops while others got the news because they were locked out of their Slack accounts.
Then, on November 16, Musk followed through on the purge by offering Twitter employees an ultimatum. He sent an email to all employees and told them to expect “long hours and high intensity” and to agree to these conditions. If they didn’t agree, they should get three months of severance, they were told.
“Going forward, to build Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk wrote in the email. “This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will be a pass grade,” the billionaire wrote.
“If you are sure you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes on the link below,” he added. “Anyone who hasn’t done so by 5pm ET tomorrow (Thursday) gets three months off.”
Musk’s management style is undeniably aggressive, and to some observers, short-sighted and mean-spirited.
It is with this background that Tesla’s 2018 employee review now emerges.
‘An ugly part of Tesla Culture’
The survey, which was referenced in early November in a lawsuit filed by a Tesla shareholder over Musk’s $50 billion pay package, shows that employees have formally filed complaints about the company’s culture and leadership.
“Tesla is bleeding very talented and fiercely driven people who truly believe in the company’s vision and continue to hope for its success,” wrote one worker in the survey shown by Insider. “Elon is an excellent technical leader, and yet he is widely seen as an intolerable tyrant who devalues the team’s contributions, and can drive them astray … we treat people, the fundamental unit of a company , as any other consumable resource.”
Insider told the worker that Tesla “fails to distinguish between technical leadership and people leadership,” and called this “an ugly part of Tesla’s culture.”
The survey also revealed the results of favorable employee ratings in response to a number of questions. The weakest favorable scores were in the areas of compensation and trust in Musk and his executive team to balance employee interests with those of the company.
Tesla is a ‘Super Toxic Environment’
The employee survey revealed some additional comments that expressed concern. These include the following:
- “Elon needs to take ownership of the position he put on the team. He and JB need to take it upon themselves. They need to immediately stop firing everyone who reports to them and remove any threats of how they’re doing business. at any moment I or anyone around me will be fired, and I don’t intend to stay much longer in that extremely toxic environment.”
- “… Elon and the Executive team blamed lower level engineers with no accountability for the poor level of design review, unrealistic scheduling and inadequate resource allocation I put all my trust in Elon as to lose a leader. of this company.”
- “… to empower people not to bully Elon into making unrealistic promises.”
- “I think more effort needs to be put into the culture here at Tesla. I know work is very important and we all have to work hard, but we also need outlets to to express oneself and enjoy it on a more personal level. … There is also very little communication from Elon Musk and the executive team … I think it is important [they] engage with the company from time to time with exciting updates so we feel more of a community and a sense of belonging.”