Elon Musk fires half of Twitter employees and leaves his company in shock

Elon Musk fires half of Twitter employees and leaves his company in shock

Confusion and frustration reign” to Twitter, headlines the New York Timesshortly after the social network saw half of its employees – around 3,700 people out of 7,500 – being abruptly fired on Friday, November 4.

When the ax fell […]she did not fall smoothly”, remarks the New York daily. Most of the dismissed employees have thus “received no prior notification”, and only noticed, when they wanted to connect to their professional mailboxes, that they were deactivated.

The cuts were so random that in a late-night meeting about Twitter Blue subscriptions, at least one employee was locked out of the systems (Communication) of the company during the call”, told a source inside the New York Times. In Ireland or Great Britain, “some learned they were unemployed in the middle of their night”.

“An immeasurable mess”

Simon Balmain, a community manager fired on Friday, testified to CNN that he had lost access to his credentials about eight hours before he received an email on Friday morning officially informing him that he no longer worked for Twitter, but without “provide detail” on the reasons for his dismissal.

“The annoyance and frustration are mitigated by the solidarity between all employees, including those who stayed”, he says to the American news channel. And for those who stayed, the situation is not necessarily more enviable: “for me, it would have been a punishment”, confides a dismissed employee, relieved to have left.

The list of sectors most affected by this wave of layoffs is dizzying: product safety, politics, communication, retention of tweets, artificial intelligence and ethics, data science, research, l machine learning, social good, accessibility and “even some basic engineering teams” according to the technology information site The Verge. Cuts so massive that employees still working for Twitter explained to The Verge, that they “expected the company to struggle to maintain its critical infrastructure in the short term”. It’s going to be a “immeasurable mess”, commented an anonymous source.

Suspension of advertising investments

Elon Musk acknowledged that the situation was chaotic, tweeting friday that his company had “experienced a massive drop in revenue due to activist pressure on advertisers”. Activists he accuses of wanting “destroy free speech in america”, while he promises to have “nothing changed in content moderation”. “It makes no sense ! ”, gets carried away the billionaire plenipotentiary, visibly annoyed by this reversal of fortune. Advertising accounts for 90% of Twitter’s revenue.

Thus, the automobile manufacturers General Motors and Volkswagen, or even the American agrifood giant General Mills have announced that they “suspended their advertising investments” on Twitter, reports the washington postwhich also recalls the inflammatory remarks of the president of the main American civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“It is immoral, dangerous and highly destructive to our democracy for an advertiser to fund a platform fueling hate speech, election denial and conspiracy theories”Derrick Johnson said after meeting Elon Musk on Tuesday.

“A textbook case on how not to proceed”

Meanwhile, numerous Twitter employees filed a class action lawsuit, accusing the company of “violates federal and state laws governing notice of termination”, reports Yahoo Finance. Under the WARN Act, “companies with at least 100 full-time employees must give at least 60 days written notice when a collective dismissal affects at least 50 employees or one third of its total workforce”, according to a labor lawyer consulted by the financial site.

“Unfortunately there is no other choice when the company is losing more than 4 million dollars a day”, said Elon Musk late Friday afternoon in a tweet on the subject. “All those who lost their jobs were offered three months of compensation”, he specified. Twitter spokespersons did not respond to requests for comment from the press. Most of them were fired anyway.

Sandra Sucher, a Harvard management professor who specializes in layoffs, told the New York Timesthat the Twitter cuts were among the worst handled she had ever seen”. It is even according to her, “a textbook case on how not to proceed”.