According to numerous current and former employees, Twitter's workforce looks to be leaving in large numbers after rejecting Elon Musk's demands to stay with the firm.
As the time for replying to Elon Musk's ultimatum to commit to working in a "very hardcore" manner at the company approaches, some Twitter employees appeared to openly imply they had opted to leave the organization. Employees at Twitter started using the salute emoji, which has come to stand for someone quitting the company, on Thursday afternoon.
One Twitter employee asserted that deciding to work there was "one of the simplest decisions ever made" in a tweet. The choice to leave today was the opposite.
Employees at the company told CNN that after the deadline of 5 p.m. ET, a torrent of employees posted the salute emoji to the company's internal Slack channel to indicate they had decided not to sign Musk's commitment and depart the company.
The remaining Twitter employees had until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday to decide if they wanted to be a part of the culture Musk hopes to implement at the social media company or else effectively resign, according to an email Musk sent to coworkers on Wednesday.
An ex-Twitter executive who just left the company described the employee departures on Thursday as a "mass exodus."
The company's offices will be temporarily sealed on Thursday night following the employees' departures, and credential access would be limited through Monday, according to a copy of the email that CNN obtained from a current Twitter employee. Musk's team cordoned off offices during the large-scale layoffs earlier this month out of concern for safety and a stated anxiety that departing employees could try to destroy the company on their way out.
Before the deadline on Thursday, two Twitter employees alerted CNN that they intended to ignore the demand because, in their opinion, the billionaire has fostered a toxic work atmosphere.
Another Twitter employee told CNN on Wednesday that receiving the email from Musk "felt like a punch in the gut because you were forced to make a decision and feel like you're up against the clock to make the best decision for you and your family," regardless of how you felt about wanting to stay or want to leave. She continued by saying that they were still talking about it.
The person said, "Those decisions are longer than just 24 hours."
On Wednesday, Musk addressed the workforce, stating that he wanted to create "Twitter 2.0" and that those who remained would have to commit to working "long hours at high intensity," presumably accepting Musk's demand that the majority of Twitter's employees, who have been working remotely, return to office work. One employee reported that as of midday on Thursday, it was still unclear whose remote-work exceptions would be granted if employees decided to stay.
According to the text of the email obtained by CNN from a Twitter employee who requested anonymity, Musk sent an email to staff later on Thursday in an apparent effort to clarify his position on remote work. This was amid management's apparent scramble to prevent losing too many employees due to the ultimatum.
Musk wrote in the email that employees will be expected to attend in-person meetings at least once a month. "Regarding remote work, all that is necessary for approval is that your manager accepts responsibility for ensuring that you are making a great contribution," Musk added.
At the risk of stating the obvious, any manager who fraudulently asserts that someone reporting to them is doing outstanding work or that a specific function is critical, whether remote or not, will be fired from the firm, Musk wrote in a follow-up email 20 minutes later.
After firing over 3,700 employees, or about half of Twitter's workforce, earlier this month, including many contract workers, Musk decided to offer an ultimatum. Additionally, he disbanded the board of directors and ousted the company's top executives. Additionally, Musk recently let go of some workers who had criticized him in tweets or on company Slack forums.
One of the staff members who intend to reject the ultimatum remarked but wished to remain unnamed so as not to jeopardize the severance package, "I don't want to stick around to produce a product that's being poisoned from the inside and out." Everyone has a price to some extent, and despite the economy, this severance allows me some peace of mind to look for a better environment shortly.
According to one employee, management is "scrambling" to persuade talent to stay since they appear to have grown concerned about the number of employees who are preparing to leave. A request for comment from Twitter, which cut the majority of its public relations team, was not immediately answered.
Everyone they spoke to was planning to reject Musk`s ultimatum and leave the company, according to a recently laid-off employee who keeps in touch with former coworkers and told CNN. People cannot ignore the termination of other colleagues and the public ridicule of them, the former worker said to CNN. If they quit the company, foreign national employees working in the US run the danger of losing their work visas.
Because "change is rarely impacted from the outside," according to a fourth employee, they intend to stay with the company.
During a hearing over his Tesla compensation package on Wednesday, Musk told a Delaware court that the shakeup that will likely ensue from the ultimatum will be the final part of the "fundamental organizational restructuring" that will occur after his takeover.
Musk claimed in his email on Wednesday that the "new Twitter" would be "far more engineering-driven," which has some non-engineers wondering whether their careers would be in jeopardy even if they decide to stick around.
The employee who voiced doubt about the choice said, "There's no assurance in this, you're just thinking, "I might be able to advocate for myself, I might not." What is concealed by this door? You are ignorant. The escape door is the only one you are aware of that is certain.