Twitter 2.0: Elon Musk shut down the company's offices after hundreds of employees quit

Very few have signed up for Musk's Twitter 2.0.
Ameya Paleja
Elon Musk inside of the Twitter logo.
Elon Musk inside of the Twitter logo.

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Twitter offices were abruptly shut down on Thursday after hundreds of employees signed off from the company after refusing to comply with Elon Musk's ultimatum for an "extremely hardcore" reset of the social media company, Business Insider reported. The offices are expected to reopen on Monday, November 21.

Two weeks ago, Twitter offices remained shut as Elon Musk laid-off half of the company's workforce, and employees were asked to stay away in the interest of their own safety as well as that of Twitter systems and data. An email was used to inform employees whether they would be retained or not.

Among the ones who were retained, hundreds of employees quit this Thursday following a Musk email asking them to sign up to work long hours at high intensity and put in exceptional performances. Elon Musk, who had set a 5 pm deadline through a Google form, did not anticipate that hundreds would not take up such a role.

What happened on Thursday evening at Twitter

As the clock struck five, hundreds of employees took to internal Slack to post farewell messages and say their goodbyes, The Verge reported. According to The New York Times, others who had joined through video conferencing began to hang up after the deadline, even as Musk was speaking.

Twitter roughly had 2,900 employees after the first layoff, and employees told The Verge that so many were walking out that they expected the platform to crumble soon. Former Twitter vice President, Bruce Daisley, told the BBC, that former engineers predicted that the platform could fail as soon as Monday.

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A former Twitter employee estimates that the workforce has now dwindled to less than 2,000, the BBC report said. A combination of layoffs and recent resignations means that many critical teams at the social media company are now left with very few or no members. In some places, the entire chain of command has now disappeared.

For instance, the Command Center, which functioned as a clearing house for internal problems and was previously staffed 24/7, has seen major departures while the Twitter API team that works with developers has shrunk considerably, The Verge report said.

According to Business Insider's estimates, less than 50 percent of the staff retained after the layoff has signed up for Musk's ultimatum, which according to reports, even forced the world's richest person to meet a small group of engineers to understand why so many were leaving.

What happens next at Twitter?

About an hour after the deadline, employees were asked to leave office premises, having been told that ID access was being suspended. Offices are expected to remain closed over the weekend and reopen only on Monday. This has also been done to address Musk's paranoia that the leaving employees would sabotage the company.

As per Musk's ultimatum email, all leaving employees can expect three months of severance. However, The Verge has previously reported that employees are yet to see their agreements for this arrangement,

Employees who are sticking by Musk's plans to build Twitter 2.0 are hopeful of stock options like those awarded at SpaceX, but details on how they will be allotted are also scanty.

Musk tweeted Thursday evening that he wasn't super worried as the best people were staying at Twitter, but recruiters have also started begun processes for hiring new staff at Twitter under Musk. The mass exodus of people might also mean that Musk might soften his stance on employee requirements such as options to work remotely.

Time will tell if Twitter can manage the mass resignations or struggle to keep up remains to be seen.

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