(Bloomberg) — Elon Musk gave Twitter Inc. employees an ultimatum. commit to the company’s new “hardcore” work environment or leave. Many more workers refused to sign in than he expected, which could jeopardize Twitter’s operations, according to people familiar with the matter.
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So many employees decided to recover that it created a cloud of confusion about who should still have access to company property. Twitter closed its offices until Monday, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg. “Please continue to adhere to company policy by refraining from discussing confidential information on social media, with the media or elsewhere,” the memo said.
Musk tried, in the final hours before his deadline, to convince people to wait. Key staff were brought into meetings as the Thursday afternoon deadline approached to hear pitches on the social network’s future, according to people familiar with the matter. Musk, who earlier said he was strictly against remote work, also sent a follow-up email Thursday softening his tone.
“What’s required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for making sure you’re making a real contribution,” he wrote, adding that team members should have one-on-one face-to-face meetings with their colleagues. at least per month.
It wasn’t enough. Twitter’s internal communication channels filled with employees offering an emoji salute, which became a symbol of leaving the company. Former staff also tweeted the tribute to the community, along with their internal Slack messages.
Some departing employees said that so many were leaving, as well as their knowledge of how the product worked, the social network could struggle to fix problems or update systems during its normal operations, according to people familiar with the matter.
Twitter’s future is also complicated by a possible US government national security review of Musk’s deal, people familiar with the matter said earlier.
Elon Musk’s shocking Twitter takeover: Timeline
Musk asked employees on Wednesday to formally say whether they were willing to continue working at the company – a commitment that includes “working long hours at high intensity”. Employees had until 5 Eastern time on Thursday to fill out the Google form.
The form had only one possible answer: “Yes.” Anyone who failed to accept the form by the deadline was told they would be out of the company for three months.
The ultimatum from Musk came less than two weeks after he laid off 50% of Twitter’s workforce, or about 3,700 employees. Several Twitter workers consulted with lawyers this week to decide what to do. The form did not provide much detail about the severance packages, and it was not immediately clear whether employees would receive legal protections that would allow them to keep vested stock awards or retain insurance coverage.
Musk brought back leaders who left, either as part of his own layoffs or through resignations, to convince others to stay, one of the people said. One count leader is Ella Irwin, who will manage Trust and Safety employees, according to a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified discussing non-public changes.
Musk later sent a follow-up email on remote work, according to a screenshot viewed by Bloomberg. “Any manager who falsely claims that someone reporting to them is doing a great job or that a particular role, whether remote or not, is essential will be let go from the company.”
(Updates with more events coming)
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