Hundreds of Twitter employees quit after Elon Musk asks staff to sign up for ‘long hours or leave’

According to estimates, hundreds of Twitter Inc. workers have chosen to leave the struggling social media business after new owner Elon Musk gave them until Thursday to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or go.

The departures show that some of Twitter’s 3,000 or so staff members are reluctant to stay at a firm where Musk already fired half of the workers, including top management, and is ruthlessly reshaping the culture to stress long hours and a fast pace.

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Late on Thursday, Musk declared on Twitter that he was unconcerned about resignations since “the best individuals are staying.”

Without going into any detail, the wealthy owner also said: “We just achieved another all-time high in Twitter usage.”

According to a current employee and a recently fired employee who is still in contact with Twitter coworkers, Musk spoke with a few key employees on Thursday to try to persuade them to stay.

According to two individuals, the business also informed workers that it would close its offices and restrict badge access until Monday. According to one insider, security personnel started ejecting several employees from one office on Thursday night.

Although each resignation could not be independently verified, over 110 Twitter employees from at least four continents declared their decision to resign in public tweets that Reuters analyzed. About 15 employees, many of whom worked in ad sales, announced their plans

Over 500 staff members posted farewell messages on Twitter’s internal chat feature on Thursday, according to a source familiar with the notes.

Taking the departure option, I’m free! was chosen by 42% of 180 respondents in a poll on the workplace app Blind, which verifies employees by their work email addresses and allows them to share information anonymously.

Only 7% of respondents to the poll indicated they “clicked yes to stay, I’m hardcore,” while 25% said they wanted to stay “reluctantly.”

It was not immediately possible to determine the precise number of personnel who intended to depart the organization.

An inquiry for feedback from Twitter received no response.


Many of the engineers responsible for resolving issues and avoiding service interruptions are leaving, which raises concerns about the platform’s stability in light of the personnel losses.

a picture of Elon Musk and the Twitter logo
This graphic from November 4, 2022 shows a magnified image of Elon Musk and the Twitter logo. Dado Ruvic’s illustration is from Reuters.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the version of the Twitter app used by staff started to slow down on Thursday night. This source predicted that the public version of Twitter was in danger of going down overnight.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous out of concern for retaliation, stated, “If it does break, there is no one left to mend things in many locations.”

Reports of Twitter outages rose sharply from less than 50 to about 350 reports on Thursday evening, according to website Downdetector, which tracks website and app outages.

In a private chat on Signal with about 50 Twitter staffers, nearly 40 said they had decided to leave, according to the former employee. And in a private Slack group for Twitter’s current and former employees, about 360 people joined a new channel titled “voluntary-layoff,” said a person with knowledge of the Slack group.

A separate poll on Blind asked staffers to estimate what percentage of people would leave Twitter based on their perception. More than half of respondents estimated at least 50% of employees would leave. Early on Wednesday, Musk had emailed Twitter employees, saying: “Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore”.

If employees wished to stay, they were asked to respond “yes” to an email. The email stated that those who did not reply by Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern time would be deemed to have resigned and awarded a severance payout.

Employees were frantically trying to decide what to do as the deadline drew near.

According to a departing employee who spoke to Reuters, one team at Twitter decided to take the plunge together and leave the firm.

As Twitter employees bid their final farewells on Thursday, blue hearts and salute emojis swamped Twitter and its internal chatrooms for the second time in two weeks.

Tess Rinearson, who was tasked with creating a cryptocurrency team at Twitter, was one of the notable exits. The blue love and salute emoticons were tweeted by Rinearson.

The Twitter biographies of several departing engineers on Thursday referred to themselves as “softcore engineers” or “ex-hardcore engineers,” in what appeared to be a dig at Musk’s demand for workers to be “hardcore.”

Musk made an online jest when the resignations came in.

He tweeted, “How do you generate a little money through social media.” Start with a sizable one.

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