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After Elon Musk’s ultimatum, Twitter employees start exiting

Hundreds of Twitter employees are estimated to be leaving the beleaguered social media company following an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk that staffers sign up for “long hours at high intensity,” or leave.

November 18, 2022
By Sheila Dang and Paresh Dave and Hyunjoo Jin
18 November 2022

By Sheila Dang, Paresh Dave and Hyunjoo Jin

Nov 17 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Twitter employees are
estimated to be leaving the beleaguered social media company
following an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk that staffers
sign up for “long hours at high intensity,” or leave.

In a poll on the workplace app Blind, which verifies
employees through their work email addresses and allows them to
share information anonymously, 42% of 180 people chose the
answer for “Taking exit option, I’m free!”

A quarter said they had chosen to stay “reluctantly,” and
only 7% of the poll participants said they “clicked yes to stay,
I’m hardcore.”

Musk was meeting some top employees to try and convince them
to stay, said one current employee and a recently departed
employee who is in touch with Twitter colleagues.

While it is unclear how many employees have chosen to stay,
the numbers highlight the reluctance of some staffers to remain
at a company where Musk has hastened to fire half its employees
including top management, and is ruthlessly changing the culture
to emphasize long hours and an intense pace.

The company notified employees that it will close its
offices and cut badge access until Monday, according to two
sources. Security officers have begun kicking employees out of
the office on Thursday evening, one source said.

Twitter, which has lost many of its communication team
members, did not respond to a request for comment.

In a private chat on Signal with about 50 Twitter
staffers, nearly 40 said they had decided to leave, according to
the former employee.

And in a private Slack group for Twitter’s current and
former employees, about 360 people joined a new channel titled
“voluntary-layoff,” said a person with knowledge of the Slack
group.

A separate poll on Blind asked staffers to estimate what
percentage of people would leave Twitter based on their
perception. More than half of respondents estimated at least 50%
of employees would leave.

Blue hearts and salute emojis flooded Twitter and its
internal chatrooms on Thursday, the second time in two weeks as
Twitter employees said their goodbyes.

By 6 p.m. Eastern, over two dozen Twitter employees across
the United States and Europe had announced their departures in
public Twitter posts reviewed by Reuters, though each
resignation could not be independently verified.

Early on Wednesday, Musk had emailed Twitter employees,
saying: “Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and
succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be
extremely hardcore”.

The email asked staff to click “yes” if they wanted to stick
around. Those who did not respond by 5 p.m. Eastern time on
Thursday would be considered to have quit and given a severance
package, the email said.

As the deadline approached, employees scrambled to figure
out what to do.

One team within Twitter decided to take the leap together
and leave the company, one employee who is leaving told Reuters.

In an apparent jab at Musk’s call for employees to be
“hardcore,” the Twitter profile bios of several departing
engineers on Thursday described themselves as “softcore
engineers” or “ex-hardcore engineers.”
(Reporting by Sheila Dang, Hyunjoo Jin and Paresh Dave; Editing
by Sam Holmes)

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