Twitter has told staff, who were ordered to return to the office, that its offices are closed until Monday 21 November after the deadline passed on Elon Musk’s ultimatum – to be hardcore or to quit.
Yet more change is ahead for Twitter employees who were given the choice this week to be “extremely hardcore” or resign by Thursday 5pm EST. Musk wants Twitter to be an engineer-driven organisation as he aims to build what he calls Twitter 2.0.
There are reports that large numbers of staff opted to quit rather than join Musk’s engineering-led plan.
“Effective immediately, we are temporarily closing our office buildings and all badge access will be suspended. Offices will reopen on Monday, November 21st,” reads the letter to Twitter staff as seen by the BBC.
“Thank you for your flexibility. Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere. We look forward to working with you on Twitter’s exciting future.”
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Musk appeared not to be phased by media reports that many employees didn’t take up the challenge to be extremely hardcore.
“The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried,” he wrote on Twitter, a platform that he claims “is like open-sourcing the news”.
Musk last week told staff that they must return to the office for at least 40 hours a week unless he personally gave them approval to work remotely. This ended Twitter’s policy of allowing employees to choose where to work since the pandemic.
He’s blamed the company’s finances on “activist groups pressuring advertisers” to cease spending since he took the helm in late October after which he fired about half of its 7,500-person workforce.
Musk plans to relaunch the $8 per month Blue Verified service on 29 November after the feature was abused to impersonate numerous brands and high-profile individuals.
Musk has described Twitter as “a software and servers company” at its core, which is why he thinks engineers who code should take priority over other resources.
He has tweeted several ambiguous statements about Twitter in the past few hours, including a post with skull and crossbones emoji, an image of Twitter’s blue bird icon on a gravestone and on the face of a man posing next to it with two fingers pointed in the V for ‘victory’ sign. Another tweet from Musk claims that “we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage lol”.
“Let that sink in …”, he wrote, appearing to refer to the video of him carrying a sink into Twitter’s headquarters on the day he took over the company.
He also made a joke about his $44 billion purchase of the social media company.
“How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one.”