Hours before a Thursday deadline that Elon Musk had given Twitter employees to decide whether to stay or leave their jobs, the social media company appeared to be in disarray.
Mr. Musk and his advisers held meetings with some Twitter workers whom they deemed “critical” to stop them from leaving, four people with knowledge of the conversations said. He sent out confusing messages about the company’s remote work policy, appearing to soften his stance on not allowing people to work from home before warning their managers, according to those people and internal emails viewed by The New York Times.
All the while, two people said, resignations started to roll in. By the deadline, 5 p.m. Eastern time, hundreds of Twitter employees appeared to have decided to depart with three months of severance pay, the people said.
Their exits added to the turmoil at Twitter since Mr. Musk, 51, completed his $44 billion takeover last month. The billionaire has laid off half of Twitter’s 7,500 full-time workers, fired dissenters and told employees that they need to be “extremely hard core” to make the company a success.
On Wednesday, Mr. Musk gave Twitter’s remaining employees just under 36 hours to leave or commit to building “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0.” Those who departed would get the three months of severance pay, he said. He positioned the move as a way to make the company the most competitive it could be, though the action also provided an opportunity to further cut costs and purge the firm of disaffected workers.
The shedding of so many employees in such a compressed period has raised questions about how Twitter will keep operating effectively. While Mr. Musk has brought in some engineers and managers from his other companies, such as the electric automaker Tesla, many of them are just coming up to speed on how the social media service works, five people said.
Mr. Musk and Twitter, which no longer has a communications department, did not respond to requests for comment. [Continue reading…]