Elon Musk has reportedly told Twitter staff to get on board with his “extremely hardcore” vision for Twitter “working long hours at high intensity,” or be sacked.
Workers have been told that they have until 5pm on Thursday to click on a link confirming they want to be a part of the new Twitter, with a failure to do so in time deemed an intention to quit.
Musk who has pulled all-nighters as he attempts to drag the company out of an apparent crisis added that the new streamlined workforce will be “engineer-orientated,” promising that “those writing great code will constitute the majority of our team and have the greatest sway”.
In an email to staff entitled “A Fork in the Road,” Musk said Twitter would “need to be extremely hardcore” to succeed. Those who choose to stay should expect long, intense hours of work. Those who leave will receive three months’ severance pay, he wrote.
Musk wrote that he values engineers over designers, project managers and other staff in what he envisions will be “a software and servers company.”
The combative message is the latest sign of escalating tensions inside Twitter, a company that has been beset by chaos and confusion since the billionaire’s $44 billion takeover in October.
Musk immediately fired top executives. Since then, he’s laid off about half of the staff, or roughly 3,700 employees, and fired others after they publicly criticized him. People who held key roles in divisions including content moderation, cybersecurity and legal compliance have resigned.
Musk has claimed his shakeup is part of an effort to make Twitter more profitable, something that has long been a struggle for the platform. He also says the company needs to move away from advertising and derive most of its revenue from other sources, like Twitter Blue, the now-paused service that was revamped under Musk and had a tumultuous premiere.
One issue hanging over the company: its financial outlook now that it is newly saddled with debt.
“The problem is that Elon Musk borrowed $13 billion to buy Twitter in a purchase widely seen as overpriced”.
Ad sales, which make up nearly all of its revenue, have dropped as advertisers take a wait-and-see approach to both the broader economy and Musk’s leadership of Twitter.
Meanwhile, Twitter is estimated to have a $1 billion debt service payment on the debt Musk secured to complete his takeover, and the company’s ability to make that payment has been in question.
Musk has even floated the possibility of possible bankruptcy, which would allow Twitter to restructure its debt, but remains unclear how serious Musk was about that threat.