The zeroing-in strategy of Elon Musk in his new utopia of what he calls Twitter 2.0 has been a crafty yet potentially devastating maneuver. What is this Zero-in strategy you ask? Elon Musk is hell-bent on restarting the entire culture of Twitter, for which he sent an email to all his employees that contained a google form. The world witnessed Twitter Employees exit the company following the ultimatum.
The intention of the form was such that it asked the employees to either choose between being extremely hardcore in their work or leave with 3 months of a severance package. In response to this, the world witnessed what could notably be the third great exodus of Twitter Employees this Thursday.
History of Twitter employees’ exit
Notably, this is an employee exodus on the employees’ part.
- Earlier Elon Musk had banned half of its 7,500 workforce globally, which constituted the first great employees to exist.
- The second exodus came from the many contractors that Twitter employed throughout the years. Multiple engineers who were on a contractual basis with Twitter were fired. The count goes over 5,500 which is about more than 80% of the total contract-based employees count.
- After that one could divide the third exodus into two parts. The second half of which we currently reside in.
Important to admit when I’m wrong & firing them was truly one of my biggest mistakes
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2022
- Last week Elon Musk fired multiple Twitter Employees who had claimed things against his back on Twitter’s internal slack servers or dared to Tweet criticism. That was the first half.
- This time (which is the most recent) Musk gave his employees an ultimatum in a document, titled “A Fork in The Road”.
What is Elon Musk’s Ultimatum to his employees?
The Verge recovered the email that Musk sent to his employees. Musk sent the email on Wednesday morning this week and gave a deadline of 5 PM ET Thursday. The google form contained two options, either to go hardcore or to leave the company.
- Those who chose to stay will have to work more hardcore with possible overtime and extensive workload. Musk’s message felt promising of great rewards to those who stayed.
- On the other side, those who left were promised three months of severance pay.
Elon Musk’s Ultimatum came abruptly, given that the ending agreements with many employees were not specified. The employees were asked to choose by Thursday. At the clock of the deadline hour, Twitter witnessed a mass resignation.
The reason for Twitter Employees’ exit
In the email that The Verge recovered that underlay the structure of Musk’s Twitter 2.0 ultimatum, he wrote
“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”
The question of severance for those who left, and another for those who stayed
- In comparison, Meta who also recently decided to cut almost 11,000 of its workforce had a very well thought severance package. Because it isn’t just the severance pay that matters, there are also questions about the employees’ livelihood, career, health insurance benefits, and visa statuses. These fields were not addressed.
- Another great problem for the employees who have decided to follow Musk’s ultimatum is whether they’ll be able to have shares within the company. Ever since the company went private with Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the question of employees having company shares has been quite ambiguous.
- Musk has promised “employees who show outstanding performance” the privilege of shareholding. Similar to how things already work in his other company SpaceX.
- There is further confusion about employees who were on a vacation during the unfolding of this entire charade.
Has Elon Musk been lenient?
Musk answered these problems were answered at least partially in a FAQ that he released on the same day as the email “A Fork in The Road“. On Wednesday evening the questions of the employees were answered. Comically the document begins by reading “this is not a phasing attempt” to reiterate that this is actually sent by their CEO Elon. Musk sure does know how to keep the literary style alive even during the most complex of corporate decisions.
Going forward, accounts engaged in parody must include “parody” in their name, not just in bio
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 11, 2022
- The FAQ document read that anyone who didn’t say yes in the form (even if they didn’t say no) would automatically be considered a no. So it was no by default unless specified. Employees on leave were given an exemption but those on parental leave had their leave cut to meet the deadline of the ultimatum.
- Those who selected no will receive two months of payroll plus benefits and one month of severance pay given that they sign a separation agreement. The FAQ mentioned that the terms of this separation agreement shall circulate within a few weeks.
- Those who select yes, as per the FAQ, will have to do what it takes to “perform at the highest level”. Twitter employees must mandatorily be in an office. Although exceptions weren’t completely nullified in this regard. The company may also demand working beyond the work hours, including weekends.
Should Elon Musk be more Lenient to his Twitter Employees?
The employees who chose to exit after the ultimatum’s two choices posted on Twitter #LoveWhereYouWorked and announced their salute. As things stand it isn’t looking like sunshine to the Twitter dictator.
- Mainly because Twitter reportedly has closed its office til Monday. The company put Twitter Blue subscription (which costs $8 a month) to a halt. This happened after multiple accounts impersonated celebrities and government officials.
- Such a trend of impersonators caused multiple advertising agencies to pull back from the microblogging site, causing huge disruptions in the potential profit margin of the company.
Elon Musk is at great odds
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
- The primary concern that Musk faces are chaos unfolding because of his complete change of legacy verification which ensured people were who they claimed to be when they were verified.
- The second surge problem that Musk faces are a complete exodus of his workforce. If he himself hadn’t already cut half of his workforce, added by the recent mass resignations, Musk is reportedly becoming paranoid. The stability of the company is perhaps at the red margin.
Seven democratic senators reportedly called for the Federal Trade Commission. They did it in an attempt to instigate an investigation on whether Twitter had violated a consumer privacy agreement with the agency in post Musk takeover era.
And … we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage lol
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
Twitter’s internal ‘Trust and Safety‘ team prepared a recommendation document to help Elon Musk earlier to his Twitter blue remap. Platformer obtained the document and reported that much of what the team predicted manifested itself in the events that ensued.
After Elon Musk’s ultimatum, his only redemption may come from the willingness of his employees to work beside him. Although he may argue this is already what he has in mind when he focuses on quality over quantity by terminating half the employees. In his mind it probably looked like cutting the employees count would lead to a steep rise in the quality of those already working. But as recent trends signify, he may have been wrong.
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