Hundreds of employees of Chirping they gave up Elon Muskafter the company’s new owner put an ultimatum to join a company “culture reset”: they started posting goodbyes on Slack, the company chat, and even goodbye emojis on social media.
The new purge from Twitter’s ranks comes after Musk recently fired dozens of employees who criticized or mocked him in internal tweets and messages. Musk then set a Thursday deadline for all employees to answer “yes” to a Google form asking if they wanted to stay on what Musk calls “Twitter 2.0.”
On the contrary, today would be the last day of work and they would receive severance pay. After the deadline passed, hundreds of employees quickly began posting goodbye messages and goodbye emojis on Twitter’s Slack, announcing that they had said no to Musk’s ultimatum.
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for the company: changes to Twitter Blue subscription (which meant losing the verification checkmark for accounts that already have it unless they pay $8 a month), new “official” certifications for legitimate accounts, layoffs, Musk’s constant cross-referencing with employees on the social network, and more.
Twitter had about 2,900 employees left before Thursday’s deadline, thanks to Musk laying off about half of its 7,500-strong workforce when he took office and the resignations that followed.
Remaining and departing Twitter employees told The Verge that given the scale of this week’s resignations, they expect the platform to start crashing soon. One says he saw “legendary engineers” and others look up to leave one by one.
“It looks like all the people who made this place great are leaving,” the staffer said on Twitter. “It’s going to be extremely difficult for Twitter to bounce back from here, no matter how tough the people left try to be.”
Several “critical” engineering teams within Twitter have now fully or nearly completely resigned, said another employee who requested anonymity to speak without Musk’s permission.
For example, the team that maintains Twitter’s core system libraries used by all of the company’s engineers left after Thursday. “You can’t run Twitter without this equipment,” the employee said on the social network.
Musk’s first priority as the new owner of Twitter has been to radically reset his work culture. In an email to employees this week, he wrote: “Moving forward, to develop Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will have to be extremely tough. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only outstanding performances will constitute a passing grade.
The departing Twitter employees have been told they will receive at least three months’ pay, even though they haven’t had a chance to review their severance agreements yet.
Even the employees who choose to stay don’t know how Musk intends to compensate them with stock now that Twitter is a private company, although he said “exceptional” employees will receive stock options as they do at SpaceX, his other private company.
Several employees posted tweets with their departures: