Nov 18 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Twitter Inc employees are estimated to have decided to quit the embattled social media company after new owner Elon Musk on Thursday set a deadline for employees to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or leave.
The departures highlight the reluctance of some of Twitter’s 3,000-plus employees to stay at a company where Musk previously laid off half the workforce, including senior management, and is ruthlessly changing the culture to emphasize long hours and a fast pace. intense.
Musk took to Twitter late Thursday, saying he wasn’t worried about resignations as “the best people stay.”
The billionaire owner also added: “We just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage…” without elaborating.
Musk met with some of the best employees on Thursday to try to convince them to stay, said a current employee and a recently departed employee who is in contact with Twitter colleagues.
The company also notified employees that it will close its offices and cut off card access until Monday, according to two sources. Security officers began evicting some employees from an office on Thursday night, a source said.
More than 110 Twitter employees on at least four continents had announced their decision to leave the Twitter posts reviewed by Reuters public, though each resignation could not be independently verified. About 15 employees, many in ad sales, have posted their intention to stay with the company.
On Twitter’s internal chat tool, more than 500 employees wrote goodbye messages on Thursday, a source familiar with the notes said.
A survey of the workplace app Blind, which verifies employees via their work email addresses and allows them to share information anonymously, showed that 42% of 180 respondents opted to “Take the exit option, I’m free!”
A quarter said they had “reluctantly” chosen to stay, with just 7% of survey participants saying they “clicked yes to stay, I’m staunch.”
The exact number of employees who intend 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 avoiding service interruptions, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of employees.
On Thursday night, the version of the Twitter app used by employees began to slow down, according to a source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of breaking overnight.
“If it breaks, there’s no one left to fix things in many areas,” said the person, who declined to be named for fear of retaliation.
Twitter outage reports rose sharply from fewer than 50 to about 350 reports on Thursday night, according to the website Downdetector, which tracks website and app outages.
In a private chat on Signal with about 50 Twitter employees, nearly 40 said they had decided to leave, according to the former employee.
And in a private Slack group for current and former Twitter employees, some 360 people have joined a new channel titled “voluntary layoff,” a person with knowledge of the Slack group said.
A separate survey on Blind asked employees to estimate what percentage of people would leave Twitter based on their perception. More than half of those surveyed estimated that at least 50% of employees would leave.
Earlier on Wednesday, Musk had sent an email to Twitter employees, saying: “Moving forward, to build forward Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely tough.”
The email asked the staff to click “yes” if they wanted to stay. Those who did not respond by 5 p.m. ET Thursday would be considered to have resigned and received a severance package, the email said.
As the deadline approached, employees scrambled to figure out what to do.
A team within Twitter decided to take the leap together and leave the company, a departing employee told Reuters.
Blue hearts and greeting emojis flooded Twitter and its internal chat rooms on Thursday, the second time in two weeks that Twitter employees had laid off.
Notable departures included Tess Rinearson, who was tasked with creating a cryptocurrency team at Twitter. Rinearson tweeted the blue heart and greeting emojis.
In an apparent blow to Musk’s call for employees to be “hardcore,” Twitter profile bios of several engineers who left Thursday described themselves as “soft engineers” or “ex-hardcore engineers.”
As the resignations poured in, Musk made a joke on Twitter.
“How do you make a small fortune on social media?” he tweeted her. “Start with a big one.”
Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas, Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco, and Paresh Dave in Oakland, California; Additional reporting by Martin Coulter and Akanksha Khushi; Edited by Sam Holmes and Mark Potter
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