Fear swept through the offices of Twitter Inc. on Thursday as 7,500 employees from San Francisco to Singapore feared job cuts that would affect about half the workforce, according to current and former employees and message board contributors Reuters were notified.
Since billionaire Elon Musk took over last week, he’s been keeping employees in the dark. He hasn’t approached the workforce or outlined his plans for the company’s future, leaving employees to study message boards, messages and tweets from Musk and his advisers for clues as to their fate, several employees said.
Managers have been banned from calling team meetings or communicating directly with employees, a senior Twitter official said, adding that they were being monitored.
“It feels like we’re working under the Gestapo,” they said.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Employees have largely stopped posting to internal Slack channels for fear of retaliation from new bosses. Many instead use encrypted messaging apps and the dedicated Twitter company channel in the app Blind, which provides a space for employees to share information anonymously.
“I’m really worried tweeps,” a Twitter employee wrote Thursday on Blind, which verifies employees through their work email addresses. Twitter colleagues often refer to each other as “Tweeps”.
The comment only scratched the surface of the dark and worried mood inside the social media company now controlled by Tesla Inc.’s chief executive officer. Employees are waiting to hear if they will still have jobs on Friday, when the layoffs are expected to begin, according to speculation among employees.
WAITING FOR THE AXE
Some Twitter employees stopped taking calls or responding to emails from customers asking for information because they didn’t know if they had jobs left, an employee told Reuters.
Others ran to meet deadlines through Friday US time when they expected the ax to fall, another employee said. A manager tweeted a photo of her sleeping in a silver sleeping bag on the office floor.
While some worried about annual bonuses or being notified of layoffs, others rushed to apply for positions at other companies. International workers worried about the status of their visas. An employee asked Blind for advice on including Twitter on his resume.
Employees who spoke to Reuters said they learn about changes at their company by observing their work calendars and screenshots of managers’ discussions, not from official communications from Mr Musk or other executives.
One employee confirmed that “rest days”, which are very popular days off across the company, have been removed from calendars for the remainder of the year.
“Give us the details,” wrote a Google employee in a blind post aimed at Twitter employees.
“It’s worse than anything you read. Much worse,” replied a Twitter worker. – Reuters