Susan Walsh, File/Associated Press
Twitter abruptly laid off half its workforce on Friday, one week after Elon Musk took over.
Employees shared stories about finding out they were axed by being kicked off company platforms.
One person was in a meeting when they suddenly dropped off the call, sources told The New York Times.
About one week after Tesla billionaire Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, the company laid off half its workforce, leaving axed employees sharing stories of confusion and chaos over how it all went down.
Top executives were fired last week immediately after Musk took control, but the company’s sweeping layoffs started Friday after a company-wide email sent on Thursday informed staff that some would abruptly lose their jobs the following day. Some employees learned they were fired not through a manager, but because they were kicked off Twitter’s internal systems or locked out of their work laptops without any notice or explanation.
At least one Twitter employee was booted from the company’s system in the middle of a call about Twitter Blue, three sources familiar with the meeting told The New York Times. The group, led by project manager Esther Crawford, was discussing updates to the subscription product and issues when one person just dropped off the call, the sources said.
Musk has been criticized over how the layoffs were handled. Several former Twitter employees filed a lawsuit on Thursday in California accusing Twitter of violating the WARN Act, a federal law that mandates businesses with 100 employees or more to give 60 days notice of mass layoffs.
“This is a master class in how not to do it,” Sandra Sucher, a Harvard University professor who studies layoffs, told the Times, noting it was uncommon to see layoffs of this scale done so rapidly without a clear explanation. “If you were going to rank order ways to upset people, telling them you’re going to do it in advance, without rationale, that is a particularly inhumane way to treat them.”
Rachel Bonn, a former Twitter employee who is eight months pregnant, said she lost access to her work laptop Thursday night hours after Musk said layoffs were coming. Another former Twitter employee, Chris Younie, said he was also abruptly unable to turn on his work laptop or log into his emails at around 3 a.m. on Friday.
In a tweet, Musk said of the layoffs that the company had “no choice” because it was losing more than $4 million per day. He also said that everyone was offered three months of severance pay.
News, Tech Insider, Twitter, Elon Musk, Layoffs
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