BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Inside Twitter as ‘mass exodus’ of staffers throws platform’s future into uncertainty

Nov 18, 2022, 5:00 AM

With employees with the company, the future of Twitter is in uncertain. Photo credit: Justin Sulliv...

With employees with the company, the future of Twitter is in uncertain. Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images.

 (CNN) — Death is in the air on Twitter.

On the platform Thursday evening, where #RIPTwitter was the top trend worldwide, users wrote what they feared might be their last posts, offering apprehensive goodbyes and listing the other (more stable) social media platforms where they can still be found.

They were reacting to the dire news emanating from inside Twitter. Scores of remaining employees at the social media company on Thursday appeared to reject owner Elon Musk’s ultimatum to work “extremely hardcore,” throwing the communications platform into utter disarray and raising serious questions about about how much longer it will survive.

A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. Sign up for the daily digest chronicling the evolving media landscape here.

Inside the company’s Slack, a mass resignation effectively occurred after Musk’s 5pm deadline for employees to arrive at a decision passed. Hundreds of staffers appear to have called it quits, accepting Musk’s offer to exit in exchange for three months of severance.

Employees flooded the “#social-watercooler” channel with the salute emoji, indicating that they had chosen not to sign Musk’s pledge. A similar series of events unfolded in the Slack channel earlier this month as Musk eliminated roughly 50% of the company’s then 7,500-person workforce.

A former Twitter executive, who recently exited the company, described the situation as a “mass exodus.” Asked about the situation, the former executive said, “Elon is finding out that he can’t bully top senior talent. They have lots of options and won’t put up with his antics.”

“They will struggle just to keep the lights on,” the former executive added.

That assessment was universally shared by the other half dozen current and former employees on Thursday. It was already bad enough after Musk executed mass layoffs at the company earlier this month. So bad that Twitter asked some of the people it had let go to come back just days later. The state-of-play has only become more dire since then.

In fact, Twitter management was in panic mode hours before the deadline passed, people familiar with the matter said, explaining that senior leaders were “scrambling” to convince talent to stay at the company.

Musk himself seemed to finally realize the grim state of affairs, sending an all-staff email relaxing his previously uncompromising anti-remote work position. “Regarding remote work, all that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution,” Musk said in the email.

It didn’t appear to do much good.

Two employees who had decided to reject Musk’s ultimatum on Thursday were quite clear in why they were doing so. “I don’t want to stick around to build a product that’s being poisoned from the inside and out,” one said, adding later that he felt good about making a decision “in line with what I stand for.”

A recently laid off employee who remains in touch with former coworkers said, “People don’t want to sacrifice their mental health and family lives to make the richest man in the world richer.”

And Twitter seemed to grasp the mess on its hands Thursday evening, sending an email to staff notifying them it has once again shuttered all of its offices and suspended employee badge access, presumably to protect its systems and data.

Twitter’s already decimated communications department didn’t respond to requests for comment. But Musk nodded to the situation in a tweet.

“How do you make a small fortune in social media?” Musk asked. “Start out with a large one.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

UTA Frontrunner commuter rail. UTA Plans to address delays by updating cars and adding a new line t...

Curt Gresseth

UTA boss talks about train delays, says improvements coming

Despite frustrating delays, UTA has a 90 percent "on-time" record, says the executive officer.

60 minutes ago

FILE - A branch office of Capital One Bank is pictured on May 7, 2009, in New York.  Capital One Fi...

KEN SWEET AP Business Writer

Capital One to buy Discover for $35 billion in deal that combines major US credit card companies

Capital One Financial is buying Discover Financial Services for $35 billion, in a deal that would bring together two of the nation's biggest lenders and credit card issuers.

9 hours ago

Collin McLaughin and friends pose for a photo atop their increasingly popular vintage retail space ...

Sky Mundell, KSL.com

Thrift store bus tours Utah, gaining social media street cred

A hybrid social-shopping experience is gaining notoriety among young Utahns for its ability to offer a unique shopping experience.

2 days ago

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump carries a pair of his new signa...

Kate Sullivan, CNN

Trump launches sneaker line a day after judge’s order to pay nearly $355 million

Donald Trump launched a sneaker line, a day after he and his companies were ordered by a judge to pay nearly $355 million.

2 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump holds gold Trump sneakers at Sneake...

MICHAEL R. SISAK Associated Press

Here’s a look inside Donald Trump’s $355 million civil fraud verdict as an appeals fight looms

On the witness stand last year, Donald Trump proclaimed: "I have a lot of cash." After Friday's eye-popping penalty in his New York civil fraud trial, he's going to need it.

3 days ago

The likeness of George Washington is seen on a U.S. $1 bill, March 13, 2023, in Marple Township, Pa...

BEN FINLEY ASSOCIATED PRESS

Presidents Day: From George Washington’s modest birthdays to big sales and 3-day weekends

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Like the other Founding Fathers, George Washington was uneasy about the idea of publicly celebrating his life. He was the first leader of a new republic — not a tyrant. And yet the nation will once again commemorate the first U.S. president on Monday, 292 years after he was born. The […]

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Inside Twitter as ‘mass exodus’ of staffers throws platform’s future into uncertainty