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Musk gave Twitter workers a stark choice between “hardcore” work or accepting a three-month severance deal. It is understood hundreds of employees opted to get out rather be part of the drive to remodel the social media platform in the face of intense rivalry from competitors.
Some industry sources estimated 40 percent of the company’s remaining workforce had waved goodbye to Twitter and taken the money.
Musk had already sacked up to half its staff after taking over the company in October.
The loss of so many engineers and other specialists will potentially make Musk’s task of revamping Twitter vastly more difficult, sources said.
Hundreds signalled they were leaving ahead of Thursday’s deadline, posting a salute emojis or other symbols familiar to Twitter workers on the company’s internal messaging board.
While it’s not clear exactly how many of Twitter’s already-decimated staff took Musk up on his offer, the newest round of departures means the platform is continuing to lose workers just as it is gearing up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. one of the busiest events on Twitter that can overwhelm its systems if things go haywire.
“To all the Tweeps who decided to make today your last day: thanks for being incredible teammates through the ups and downs.
“I can’t wait to see what you do next,” tweeted one employee, Esther Crawford, who is remaining at the company and has been working on the overhaul of the platform’s verification system.
Since taking over Twitter less than three weeks ago, Musk has booted half of the company’s full-time staff of 7,500 and an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation and other crucial efforts.
He fired top executives on his first day as Twitter’s owner, while others left voluntarily in the ensuing days. Earlier this week, he began firing a small group of engineers who took issue with him publicly or in the company’s internal Slack messaging system.
Then overnight on Wednesday, Musk sent an email to the remaining staff at Twitter, saying that it is a software and servers company at its heart and he asked employees to decide by Thursday evening if they want to remain a part of the business.
Musk wrote that employees “will need to be extremely hardcore” to build “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0” and that long hours at high intensity will be needed for success.
But in a Thursday email, Musk backpedalled on his insistence that everyone work from the office. His initial rejection of remote work had alienated many employees who survived the layoffs.
He softened his earlier tone in an email to employees, writing that “all that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring you are making an excellent contribution.”
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