Nov 18 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Twitter Inc employees are thought to have decided to leave the troubled social media company following a deadline on Thursday by new owner Elon Musk and employees signed up for ” long hours and extreme energy,” or leave.
The departures reflect the reluctance of some of Twitter’s 3,000 or so employees to stay at a company where Musk has previously fired half of the workforce, including senior managers, and is aggressively changing the culture to emphasize long hours and high speed.
Musk took to Twitter late Thursday and said he wasn’t worried about resigning as “the best people stay.”
The billionaire owner added: “We hit another all-time high with the use of Twitter…,” without elaborating.
Musk met with some of the top employees on Thursday to try to convince them to stay, a current employee and a recently departed employee who was in contact with colleagues on Twitter said.
The company also told employees it would close its offices and reduce badge availability until Monday, according to two sources. Security forces began evacuating some workers from one facility on Thursday evening, a source said.
More than 110 Twitter users across at least four continents have announced their decision to resign in public Twitter posts reviewed by Reuters, although no individual resignations could be confirmed. About 15 employees, most of whom are advertising salespeople, expressed their intention to stay with the company.
On Twitter’s social networking app, more than 500 users posted a tweet on Thursday, a source familiar with the matter said.
A poll by the workplace app Blind, which tracks employees by their work email address and allows them to share information anonymously, has shown 42% of 180 respondents choose “Bring an opt-out option , I’m free!”
A quarter said they chose to stay “not interested,” and only 7% of those who participated in the poll said they “clicked yes to stay, I’m strong.”
The number of employees who plan to leave the company immediately could not be ascertained.
Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
Stability of the platform
The outage includes several engineers responsible for fixing bugs and preventing downtime, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of users.
On Thursday evening, the version of the Twitter application used by users began to slow down, according to a well-informed source, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was in danger of breaking overnight .
“If it breaks, there is no one left to fix things in many places,” said the person, who declined to be named for fear of punishment.
Reports of Twitter hacks rose sharply from less than 50 to about 350 reports on Thursday evening, according to the website Downdetector, which monitors website and app removal.
In a private conversation with Signal and about 50 Twitter users, nearly 40 said they had decided to leave, according to a former employee.
In a private Slack group for current and former Twitter users, about 360 people have joined a new channel called “volunteers,” said a person familiar with the Slack group.
A separate poll in Blind asked users to estimate the percentage of people who would leave Twitter based on their opinion. More than half of the respondents estimated that at least 50% of the workforce will leave.
Early Wednesday morning, Musk sent an email to Twitter users, saying: “Going forward, in order to build Twitter 2.0 to continue and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will want to be strong”.
The email asked users to click “yes” if they wanted to stick around. Those who do not respond by 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday will be considered terminated and given a severance package, the email said.
As the deadline approaches, employees are scrambling to figure out what to do.
A team at Twitter has decided to consolidate and leave the company, an outgoing employee told Reuters.
Blue hearts and congratulations emojis flooded Twitter and its chat rooms on Thursday, the second time in two weeks that Twitter users said goodbye.
Notable departures include Tess Rinearson, who was tasked with managing a cryptocurrency group on Twitter. Rinearson tweeted with blue heart and thank you emojis.
In an apparent jab at Musk’s call for employees to be “hardcore,” the Twitter profile bios of several departing engineers on Thursday described themselves as “softcore engineers” or “old engineers.”
As the resignation was coming in, Musk cracked a joke on Twitter.
“How can you make less money on social media?” he tweeted. “Start big.”
Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas, Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Paresh Dave in Oakland, Calif.; Additional Information Martin Coulter and Akanksha Khushi; Editing by Sam Holmes and Mark Potter
Our principles: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.