Twitter is experiencing an employee exodus that is both remarkable and unsurprising. Elon Musk continued to decimate entire departments and prompt the exit of brilliant minds such as top security and legal executives after laying off nearly half of Twitter’s entire workforce within days of taking over as the new CEO. The New York Times reports that nearly 1,200 employees have resigned, adding to the company’s woes as it seeks talent to support critical systems.
Musk recently emailed employees outlining his plans for a Twitter 2.0 that would be “extremely hardcore” in terms of high-intensity work and an engineering-driven approach. The emphasis is supposed to be on writing code, and in Musk’s opinion, even exceptional performance would be considered “a passing grade.” Musk set a deadline, instructing employees to accept the proposal by Thursday evening at 5 p.m., or leave with three-month severance pay.
Musk’s message appears to have irritated several Twitter employees, with only about 3,700 remaining following the aggressive layoffs. Some even hung up during Musk’s conference call, while others filmed the countdown as Musk’s deadline approached, openly displaying their defiance and submitting voluntary resignations.
According to internal documents cited in the report, 1,200 employees have resigned, accounting for nearly a third of Twitter’s total workforce. Insider reports that “less than half of the company’s remaining roughly 4,000 employees stayed at the company on Thursday.” According to Insider, the company is currently down to about 2,000 employees. According to Fortune, between 1,000 and 1,200 employees resigned because of Musk’s Twitter 2.0 email.
Not everyone who remains at Twitter is doing so because they share Musk’s vision of hardcore engineering. Several journalists and startup figures have stated that many immigrant workers bound by work visa rules have no choice but to stay with their current employer, particularly those in the United States. According to data got by Vice from the website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, Twitter currently has approximately 300 employees working in its U.S. offices with an H-1B visa permit.
According to an anonymous employee who spoke with The Verge, “it will be extremely difficult for Twitter to recover from here, no matter how hardcore the people who remain try to be.” Meanwhile, Musk is said to be at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, interacting with remaining employees and deciding on the next step. This follows Twitter suspending employee badge access and closing its office until next week.