Elon Musk’s cut-throat cull of around half of Twitter’s staff on Friday has been likened to Game Of Thrones’ Red Wedding massacre – while he tweeted ‘power to the people’ hours after the firings.
Around 3,700 of Twitter’s 7,500 employees were laid off by email – a decision Musk defended by saying he had ‘no choice’ because the company was losing $4 million a day.
The Tesla CEO has long said Twitter’s workforce was inflated and ordered managers to ask workers where the company could cut $500 million annually.
He paid $44 billion for the company which lost $221 million over the last fiscal year.
He then tweeted ‘Trash me all day, but it’ll cost $8,’ referencing his controversial plan to have Twitter users pay $8 a month to be verified.
He has fired a number of executives and reports suggest the firings targeted teams in the sales, trust and safety, marketing, product, engineering and legal divisions.
Entire sections of the company have also been cut, including Twitter’s human rights team and ‘ethical AI’ team.
Musk laughed and was in good spirits ahead of the termination emails being sent out, while chatting on stage to Baron Capital Group Chairman and CEO Ron Baron
Twitter had a global workforce of some 7,500 employees at the end of 2021, and Musk (pictured on Halloween) reportedly laid off around half of them
The sackings have been branded Musk’s ‘Red Wedding’ moment, a reference to the The Rains of Castamere episode in season three the hit fantasy series Game of Thrones (pictured). The episode showcased what was supposed to be the happy marriage of Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and his pregnant wife Talisa (Oona Chaplin). The wedding, hosted by Walder Frey (David Bradley), turned out to be a double-cross and a bloody massacre resulting in the deaths of Robb, Talisa, her unborn child and the House Stark matriarch Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), to name just a few
The human rights team monitored conflicts across the globe and attempted to protect individuals from them with lawyers and activists.
Eight months pregnant Twitter worker reveals she’s among those FIRED during Elon Musk’s 3,700-strong cull
A pregnant Twitter employee discovered that she was out of a job after being cut off from her Twitter issued laptop.
Product marketing employee Rachel Bonn posted a picture of her last day in the San Francisco office with her toddler.
The heartbroken mother-of-two was unaware that her last day in the office would be her final day working for the social media giant.
She is one of 3,700 people who have been culled buy billionaire Elon Musk in his plan to save more than $400billion next year.
Posting a picture of her last day in the office with her son, she said: ‘Last Thursday in the SF office, really the last day Twitter was Twitter.
‘8 months pregnant and have a 9-month-old. Just got cut off from laptop access.’
The move alarmed advocacy group Human Rights Watch, which tweeted ‘companies have a responsibility to employ people who are essential to the protection of people’s rights.’
Other civil rights groups have called on advertisers to abandon the company due to concerns over content moderation and user safety.
The company has reportedly fired 85 per cent of their employees in India and 90 per cent of those in Asia, with public relations and communications teams down to two people.
Workers also said the company eliminating employees without enough notice is in violation of federal and California law citing a class-action lawsuit filed in a San Francisco federal court.
A class action lawsuit filed on Thursday alleged that Twitter is in violation of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act after some employees were already laid off.
It requires and employer with more than 100 employees to provide 60 days’ advance written notice prior to a mass layoff ‘affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment’.
But Musk has seemingly got around the issue, by allowing workers to remain on the books until February 2 – which is in 91 days time.
He also confirmed that the company would be in contact with those who have been sacked to discuss their severance pay.
They will also have access to their Twitter systems deactivated – though some employees reported being kicked out of their accounts almost 12 hours before.
The class-action lawsuit was filed by Shannon Liss-Riordan, who sued Musk’s electric car company Tesla Inc over similar claims in June, when it laid off around 10 percent of its workforce.
She said: ‘It looks like employees are getting their notices and at least some will be paid until January 4.
‘I am pleased that Elon Musk learned something from the lawsuit we brought against him at Tesla and is making an effort to comply with the WARN Act.
‘We filed this case preemptively to make sure a repeat of that violation did not happen.’
Earlier on Friday, Musk joked it would be ‘deeply ironic’ if someone on Twitter ‘takes him out’ as he said it could be ‘one of the most valuable companies in the world’.
The world’s richest man arrived at the Baron Investment Conference at the Metropolitan Opera House in Manhattan in high spirits and laughed about the number of enemies he had in front of New York’s wealthiest investors.
But one shareholder broke cover to reveal his delight at the move, saying the company had been ‘grossly mismanaged’, was a ‘weapon for the Democrat party’ and Musk was ‘retooling for business’.
Nick Flor, a shareholder of the social media giant, claimed that their profit this year was a negative 270 million and praised the richest man in the world for the massive layoffs after his dramatic $44billion takeover.
Flor claimed the company was ‘grossly mismanaged’ before it was taken over by the billionaire and was ‘mainly used as a political weapon for the Democrat party.
Nick Flor, a shareholder of the social media giant, claimed that their profit this year was a negative 270 million and praised the richest man in the world for the massive layoffs after his dramatic $44billion takeover
Those who were selected to stay have been informed that the office will remain closed until November 7th, and have been urged to ‘refrain from discussing confidential company information’
They are not expected to work, and will have their access to Twitter systems deactivated – though some employees reported being kicked out of their accounts almost 12 hours before
Musk, pictured leaving the investment conference, managed to wriggle around California law, which requires employers to give at least 60 days notice when firing people, by offering staff severance and to stay on the payroll until early next year
Twitter employees appeared to be speaking to security detail at the headquarters for the company in New York on Friday morning
He was discussing his vision for Twitter and other companies when fellow billionaire Ron Baron joked how he would live forever, with Musk quipping: ‘If I keep increasing that enemies list it might not be much longer.’
Musk went on to say it would be ‘deeply ironic if it was someone angry on Twitter that takes me out’, before saying he could now remove them from the site.
As the layoffs began, sacked Twitter employees posted on the platform under the ‘#OneTeam’ hashtag about their final hours at the company, expressing a mixture of anger and sadness, and gratitude for their time working there.
Just over an hour later almost half of the workforce at the social media giant received a blunt email telling them they were fired – will remaining on the payroll until at least January as he skirts California’s workers’ laws.
Earlier Musk posted a furious message to woke users who caused a ‘massive drop in revenue’. He said it was ‘extremely messed up’ and accused them of ‘trying to destroy free speech in America’ despite what he said were his best efforts to ‘appease’ the campaigners.
Those who were selected to stay were told the office will remain closed until Monday, and were urged to ‘refrain from discussing confidential company information.’
Additionally they will be told of Musk’s ‘vision for the company’ in the coming days, with ‘more information’ to be shared next week.
Workers took to the platform late Thursday and early Friday to vent their fury at the new CEO, with some trying to tell the billionaire businessman his actions were ‘no way to run a firm’.
Twitter (pictured: Its office in San Francisco) said its offices will be temporarily closed and all staff badge access will be suspended in order ‘to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data.’
Musk blasted it as ‘extremely messed up’, before claiming that he and his new team did ‘everything they could’ to ‘appease the activists’
The company has reportedly fired 85 per cent of their employees in India and 90 per cent of those in Asia, with public relations and communications teams down to two people
Twitter employees started to receive the email around 12pm EST to let them know whether they were among half the workforce being culled.
Simon Balmain, whose Twitter profile said he was a ‘former Senior Community Manager’ at the company, wrote: ‘Looks like I’m unemployed y’all.
‘Just got remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack. #OneTeam forever. Loved you all so much. So sad it had to end this way.’
He said he received an email saying there would be mass layoffs, ‘and then around an hour later, folks started getting their laptops remotely wiped and access to Slack and Gmail revoked.’
Another user named Johann told his followers: ‘Heya I just lost access to all my Twitter logins so I guess that’s it.’
Another by the name of Miryam wrote: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over.
‘Smile because it happened.’ She wrote the message along-side a picture of her posing in front of a large blue Twitter bird mounted on a wall at the offices.
Karen Zapata, another employee, posted a picture of her laptop screen, having been locked out. ‘This gray screen could have been a meeting,’ she wrote – suggesting she was unhappy with how impersonal the sacking was.
One Twitter employee shared a selfie of her and two other colleagues in an elevator which she wrote was at Twitter’s New York City offices.
‘Last teary eyed @TwitterNYC elevator selfie,’ she wrote.