Employee departures were multiplying at Twitter on Thursday after an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk, who demanded staff to choose between being “extremely hardcore” and working intense, long hours, or losing their jobs.
The Twitter management also told employees on Thursday that offices were temporarily closed and inaccessible, according to Zoe Schiffer, a journalist for the tech industry newsletter Platformer.
“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk wrote in the ultimatum, an internal memo sent Wednesday and seen by AFP.
“This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade,” he added.
Staff had been asked to follow a link to affirm their commitment to “the new Twitter” by 5:00 pm New York time (2200 GMT) on Thursday.
“I may be #exceptional, but gosh darn it, I’m just not #hardcore,” tweeted one former employee, Andrea Horst, whose LinkedIn profile still reads “Supply Chain & Capacity Management (Survivor) @Twitter.”
She added the hashtag “#lovewhereyouworked,” as did many other employees announcing their choice.
Musk, also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has come under fire for radical changes at the social media company, which he bought for $44 billion late last month.
He had already fired half of the company’s 7,500 staff, scrapped a work-from-home policy and imposed long hours, all while his attempts to overhaul Twitter have faced chaos and delays.
His stumbling attempts to revamp user verification with a controversial subscription service have led to a slew of fake accounts and pranks, and prompted major advertisers to step away from the platform.