Elon Musk Asks Twitter Employees to Commit to 'Long Hours' or Be Fired (UPDATE)

In an email sent in the early hours of Wednesday, Elon Musk asked Twitter employees to commit to “long hours at high intensity” or they’ll be fired.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk during a T-Mobile and SpaceX joint event

Image via Getty/Michael Gonzalez

SpaceX founder Elon Musk during a T-Mobile and SpaceX joint event

UPDATED 11/18, 11:50 a.m. ET: Twitter employees who were asked to commit to “long hours” or be fired have called Elon Musk’s bluff and left the company en masse. 

Per Deadline, employees were told on Thursday that they’re locked out of the Twitter offices until Monday, Nov. 21, effective immediately with no reason specified.

The internal chaos has continued to unfold amid Musk’s disorganized restructuring of the social media network, which he acquired for $44 billion. CNN reports that one former executive described the exit of employees, who refused to commit to a supposedly “extremely hardcore” work environment, as a “mass exodus.”

Two employees said in the lead-up to the Thursday deadline that they would reject Musk’s demands, and said his email “felt like a punch in the gut because no matter how you felt about wanting to stay or wanting to go, you were forced to make a decision and feel like you’re up against the time clock to make the best decision for you and your family.” Employees that did not agree to the ultimatum were offered three months worth of severance pay.

One employee who spoke under condition of anonymity added that they didn’t “want to stick around to build a product that’s being poisoned from the inside and out.” Since many have left the company over the sudden changes, managers are reportedly “scrambling” to stop everyone from resigning. 

Meanwhile, an individual who has described themselves as a “projection activist” shared a message on the side of the Twitter HQ building on Thursday, with a string of insults directed at Musk. The message called him an “apartheid profiteer,” a “space Karen,” “supreme parasite,” and “worthless billionaire.”

Twitter's San Francisco headquarters has gone hardcore tonight. #TwitterTakeover pic.twitter.com/DoG5pDD4AD

— Strictly Woke AF (@christoq) November 18, 2022

See original story below.

In an email sent in the early hours of Wednesday, Elon Musk asked Twitter employees to commit to “long hours” or they’ll be fired.

The new boss of Twitter, who has led a messy takeover following his $44 billion acquisition of the company, sent an email around midnight pacific time on Wednesday with a Google Form that he said employees must fill out by Thursday, 5 p.m. ET. The form asks whether the remaining workers at the company are looking to leave, or stay and commit to “long hours at high intensity.”

“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk wrote in the email, per The Wall Street Journal. “This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.” The email was titled “A Fork in the Road,” per The New York Times. The form asked staff to click “yes” on the pledge to the “new Twitter,” and if they fail to do it by the deadline, they will be fired with three months severance pay.

Musk said that engineering is the primary focus for employees at the moment, and all design and product management will take a back seat for the time being. He expects his “restructuring” of Twitter to be finalized by the end of this week, he said during a court case regarding his compensation as chief executive of Tesla.

The email comes as Musk essentially halved the staff at Twitter, dismissed contractors, fired employees who criticized him, and permitted notable executives to depart. He’s also warned that if Twitter fails to increase revenue, the social media platform could face bankruptcy.

Musk has so far tried, and failed, to push Twitter Blue, which allows all users of the platform to get verified for $7.99 a month. It has already been used to impersonate notable people, and has since been suspended as advertisers have expressed concern over Musk’s leadership. In a recent tweet, he said he hopes to relaunch Twitter Blue verifications on November 29, when he promised that it’ll be “rock solid.”

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