Following Elon Musk's ultimatum, Twitter staff members begin to leave

four-minute read November 18, 2223 UTC (+1). Recent update: two hours

Following Elon Musk's ultimatum, Twitter staff members begin to leave.

Hyunjoo Jin, Paresh Dave, and Sheila Dang

Reuters, November 18 - According to estimates, hundreds of Twitter Inc. workers have chosen to leave the struggling social media company after new owner Elon Musk gave employees until Thursday to sign up for "long hours at high intensity" or leave.

The departures show that some of Twitter's 3,000 or so staff members are reluctant to stay at a company where Musk previously fired half of the workforce, including top management, and is ruthlessly reshaping the culture to emphasize long hours and a fast pace.

Late on Thursday, Musk declared on Twitter that he was unconcerned about resignations because "the best people are staying."

Without going into further detail, the billionaire owner also said: "We just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage."

According to a current employee and a recently fired employee who is still in contact with Twitter coworkers, Musk spoke with a few key employees on Thursday to attempt to persuade them to stay.

According to two individuals, the business also informed workers that it would lock its offices and restrict badge access until Monday. According to one insider, security personnel started ejecting several employees from one workplace on Thursday night.

Although each resignation could not be independently verified, over 110 Twitter workers from at least four continents declared their decision to quit in public tweets that Reuters analyzed. About 15 employees, many of whom worked in ad sales, announced their plans to remain with the company.

Over 500 staff members posted farewell messages on Twitter's internal chat feature on Thursday, according to a source familiar with the letters.

Taking the exit option, I'm free! was chosen by 42% of 180 respondents in a poll on the workplace app Blind, which verifies employees through their work email addresses and allows them to share information anonymously.

Only 7% of respondents to the poll said they "clicked yes to stay, I'm hardcore," while 25% said they chose to stay "reluctantly."

The exact number of employees intending to leave the company could not be immediately established.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.


The departures include many engineers responsible for fixing bugs and preventing service outages, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of employees.

On Thursday evening, the version of the Twitter app used by employees began slowing down, according to one source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of breaking during the night.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous out of concern for retaliation, stated, "If it does break, there is no one left to mend things in many locations."

According to the website Downdetector, which analyzes website and app outages, complaints of Twitter outages increased dramatically on Thursday evening from less than 50 to approximately 350 instances.

According to the former worker, nearly 40 Twitter employees announced their decision to leave in a private Signal chat with about 50 other employees.

And according to a person with knowledge of the Slack group, about 360 people joined a new channel called "voluntary-layoff" in a private Slack group for Twitter's current and former employees.

Staff members were asked to predict, based on their perceptions, what proportion of users would stop using Twitter in a separate survey on the Blind. More than half of those polled predicted that at least 50% of workers would quit.

Musk sent an email to Twitter staff early on Wednesday morning with the following message: "Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore."

If employees wished to stay, they were asked to respond "yes" to an email. The email stated that those who did not reply by Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern time would be deemed to have resigned and given a severance package.

Employees were frantically trying to decide what to do as the deadline drew near.

According to a departing employee who spoke to Reuters, one team at Twitter decided to take the plunge together and leave the firm.

As Twitter employees bid their final farewells on Thursday, blue hearts and salute emojis swamped Twitter and its internal chatrooms for the second time in two weeks.

Tess Rinearson, who was entrusted with creating a cryptocurrency team at Twitter, was one of the notable exits. The blue love and salute emoticons were tweeted by Rinearson.

The Twitter bios of several departing engineers on Thursday referred to themselves as "softcore engineers" or "ex-hardcore engineers," in what appeared to be a dig at Musk's call for workers to be "hardcore."

Musk made an online jest when the resignations came in.

He tweeted, "How can you generate a little money through social media." Start with a large one.

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