Elon Musk abruptly shut down Twitter’s offices on Thursday as hundreds of employees refused to continue working under his new vision for the social platform.
Company officials told employees all buildings were being temporarily closed effective immediately and that their ability to renter with ID access was being suspended for the time being, Insider reports. The offices are expected to reopen on Monday.
In a tweet, an employee who was laid off described the chaos that followed after the closing of Twitter offices:
I was laid off from Twitter this afternoon. I was in charge of managing badge access to Twitter offices.
Elon just called me and asked if I could come back to help them regain access to HQ as they shut off all badges and accidentally locked themselves out.
— Alex Cohen (@anothercohen) November 18, 2022
The closure came about an hour after Musk’s 5:00 pm ET deadline for Twitter workers to officially sign on to his new “extremely hardcore” plans for the company.
Less than fifty percent of the company’s remaining staff of roughly four thousand people signed up to work at “Twitter 2.0,” as Insider reported, meaning they effectively resigned under the terms Musk offered in a Tuesday ultimatum.
Hundreds of Twitter employees are estimated to be leaving the beleaguered social media company following an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk that staffers sign up for ‘long hours at high intensity,’ or leave https://t.co/rXC38StdIP pic.twitter.com/f6ivJzqeEu
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 18, 2022
Earlier, Musk informed staff through an email that they are expected to work long hours at high intensity or else leave the company.
According to reports, Musk stressed in the email that workers were to agree to the pledge if they wanted to stay with the company. Those who did not agree to the policy by Thursday would receive three months’ severance pay.
“This will mean working long hours at high intensity,” Musk wrote. “Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”
Dissatisfied employees made their feelings about Elon Musk known on Thursday evening at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco.
— 𝒮𝒸🅾☯️ter🐐 (@IanScottie4) November 18, 2022
This is the second time offices have suddenly closed since Musk took over Twitter. The company closed offices and barred employees from entering the evening Musk began to enact mass layoffs about three weeks ago.
In an email sent at the time regarding office closures, the company said the move was to “ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data.”
Elon Musk announced massive Twitter layoffs
Upon purchase of the prominent social media company in an exorbitant forty-four billion dollar (£38.7 billion) deal, Musk, currently the world’s richest man, announced half of Twitter’s staff would be let go with the prime purpose of reducing expenses.
Musk said he had “no choice” over the cuts, as the company was losing four million dollars (£3.51 million) a day, blaming “activist groups pressuring advertisers” for a “massive drop in revenue.”
Shortly after taking over Twitter, several Twitter executives resigned, and Musk reportedly also ousted several executive figures, including Agrawal, the CEO; Ned Segal, the chief financial officer; and Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal, policy, and trust. Gadde was also behind Donald Trump’s suspension last year.