Chaos Erupts After Elon Musk’s Buyout of Twitter
By: Andrew Lu
October 28th, 2022 – San Francisco, California. Hours after completing his deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk gathered with several executives and announced that the company’s workforce must be immediately slashed. He also said that those who got fired would not receive the bonuses available on November 1st.
Executives of Twitter warned that this decision could violate employment laws and trigger many lawsuits over employee contracts. But for Mr. Musk’s team, going to court and paying fines is a daily occurrence anyways. Fearful of losing their jobs, Twitter’s accounting, human-resource, and legal workers hastened to meet Musk’s needs.
Two days after the meeting, Mr. Musk learned exactly how costly these lawsuit fines could be, so he decided to push the cuts until after November 1st. But, the announcement was out, and even though Mr. Musk had not made any cuts at that time, the employees were panicking as the chaos consumed the entire company.
Mr. Musk had ideas of what he wanted with a social media company but didn’t have any comprehensive plans for how to execute them. Quite amusingly, he decided to buy Twitter, which was earlier considered a global “town-square” platform. Now, the company finds itself in a disastrous financial situation.
As the announcement went public, some employees that didn’t make the first cut got simply fired by email. Others pulled all-nighters to make deadlines. When one of the officers received the message that he had to fire half his employees, he vomited in a trash can beside him.
According to the New York Times, Elon Musk said, “There’s a massive negative cash flow, and bankruptcy is not out of the question.” “Those who are able to go hardcore and play to win, Twitter is a good place,” he said. “And those who are not, totally understand, but then Twitter is not for you.”
Soon after, he fired Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal and multiple other important officers, many of whom are experienced with social media. Then, Elon Musk invited multiple of his officers from Tesla, the Boring Company, and some previous engineers from Pay-Pal. They parked themselves in the “war room” of the company and decided that they could run a social media platform.
Then, Mr. Musk received another notice. Tesla engineers that reviewed Twitter’s code claimed that instead of the company’s original plan to fire 25% of the employees, they said that Mr. Musk could fire half of the employees. Knowing this, many of the employees traded contacts and connected on LinkedIn.
On November 3rd, an email popped into the employee’s mailboxes, stating the situation and apologizing for the cuts. The email was signed “Twitter”.
A note mentioned that if you got laid off, then you would get an email notification the next day. But many who couldn’t access their inboxes knew that they had been cut.
Tech rivals like Meta and Alphabet jumped into the chaos and began hiring many who got cut.
Last Saturday, Elon Musk realized that his cuts had been too deep, and attempted to re-hire the employees he had cut. Unfortunately, many ex-employees either rejected the offer or were already somewhere else.
On Monday after the cuts, many Twitter employees arrived at work, finding out that many of the company’s management and data systems would not work, and some of the contracts with other companies were put “on hold”.
Later, on Wednesday, their New York branch found that their Wi-Fi was down because of an overheating of the server room. Apparently, all the employees and executives that could fix these problems were gone.
Mr. Musk later took into consideration whether or not he should charge employees for lunch at the company’s cafeteria, which once had been free.
Mr. Musk is trying to sound optimistic about the future. But is that possible with what Twitter is looking like now?