Many employees think of Twitter as a higher calling as much as it is a job and have felt betrayed by executives who they believed prioritized shareholder earnings over what’s best for the service.
In the wake of yesterday's news that the Musk - Twitter deal is back on (or is it?), along with a dump of Elon Musk text messages that made it crystal clear he's about to clean house, employees are a *tad* emotional.
Per a text exchange between Musk and friend Jason Calacanis (who may be the next CEO);
"Back of the envelope. Twitter revenue per employee: $5B/8K employees," he wrote, or $625,000 per employee, and compared that number to Apple’s $2.37 million per employee and Google’s $1.9 million. Musk replied by emphasizing the text with exclamation points and then added, "Insane potential for improvement."
According to the New York Times' Kevin Roose, "virtually every Twitter employee I’ve spoken to in the last six months has told me that he or she plans to leave if Mr. Musk takes over."
Some employees have already quit, anticipating a Musk takeover. And it’s safe to bet that many more will follow if the deal actually closes.
It’s also worth noting that Mr. Musk may not mind if thousands of Twitter employees show themselves the door. He has implied that the company’s staff is bloated, and now that he needs to justify a $44 billion price tag, an exodus of unhappy employees might be the kind of savings he’s looking for. -NYT
this is often framed as a problem, but the problem is obviously just the overwhelming majority of twitter's employees are dogmatically obsessed with a culture of political censorship. these people should absolutely leave, and no social media company should ever hire them again. https://t.co/V2voVDsj3k— Mike Solana (@micsolana) October 5, 2022
Internal discussions have been grim, as crestfallen liberal activists on the company's #stonks slack channel "summarized the mood by saying that employees generally have a low opinion of Musk, and whatever is going to happen next they would rather he and Twitter get on with it already," according to The Verge.
"I saw the post, thought ‘haha my job’ then saw it was a poll option, so selected it, but now realizing I won’t miss the job I currently have," one employee wrote on Blind, an app where employees discuss their work environment using pseudonyms. "I will and do miss my 2019/2020/2021 job, but I will not miss my 2022 job"
"So true," another employee replied. "As bad as [former Twitter CEO] Jack [Dorsey] was at his job (maybe because of it?) Twitter had one of the best cultures / [work-life balance] / benefits in the industry under him. Learnt a lot, met some awesome folks, enjoyed the ride, now time to exit the theme park and let the new owner raze it to the ground and build what he wants (metaphorically)."
Engineering manager JP Doherty is having a normal one:
all of that bullshit.— JP Doherty (@jpd) October 4, 2022
all of the frazzled nerves, all of the uncertainty, all of the worrying, all of the back and forth and back and forth, people i care about struggling and anxious.
all of it.
and we just come right back to where it started, maybe.
Others in Twitter's slack channel lamented selling shares the day before Musk's return to the deal caused the stock to surge 22%, according to Reuters.
According to the Washington Post, employees see a 'dark future' ahead.
“There’s a difference between what the board wants and what employees think is best,” Brandon Borrman, the company’s former communications chief, said in an interview. “People forget that most people that work at Twitter do so because they believe in the company’s mission — and they want to protect it from anybody. Whether they can do that remains to be seen.”
Others said they couldn’t stand and didn’t trust Musk.
“It’s a win for leadership in Twitter getting fat payouts,” said one Twitter employee who opposed Musk’s ownership, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to discuss internal matters. “But the regular Twitter employee will now have a wholly unqualified CEO who suffers from crippling Dunning-Kruger and will use this to make the world a worse place.” (Dunning-Kruger is a cognitive bias in which people think they are smarter than they are.)
What's more, Calacanis proposed a "hard reboot" of the company, which would include a plan for employees to return to the office. Musk responded by asking if he would like to join as a strategic adviser - to which Calacanis replied: "Put me in the game coach!"
“The cafeteria sound system in Twitter’s New York office even chimed in. It was playing the song ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ by @TheClash , one worker said.”— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) October 5, 2022
@Reuters $TWTR https://t.co/p1kUI24uDm
Engineer #1,927 at Twitter who got hired because he did ayahuasca with Jack at Burning Man in 2017 and has been collecting $670k total comp for five years without doing any work, upon reading that Elon Musk is buying the company. pic.twitter.com/6ZT80R6YHf— Chris Bakke (@ChrisJBakke) October 5, 2022