Business Essentials for Professionals


Twitter’s Office Closed Temporarily As Firm Starts Layoffs

Twitter’s Office Closed Temporarily As Firm Starts Layoffs
After informing staff that they would receive notification of their employment status via email later in the day, Twitter Inc. temporarily closed its doors on Friday. The decision was made after a week of ambiguity regarding the company's future under Elon Musk's ownership.
In an email to employees, the social media company promised to inform them of any staff reductions by Friday at 9 a.m. Pacific time (12 p.m. EDT/1600 GMT).
According to reports, the email sent on Thursday stated, "In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday."
According to internal plans examined by Reuters this week, Musk, the richest man in the world, plans to lay off 3,700 Twitter employees, or roughly half the company's workforce, in an effort to reduce costs and impose a rigorous new work ethic.
A request for comment from Twitter did not immediately receive a response.
Using the hashtag #OneTeam, Twitter employees expressed their anger about the layoffs on the social media platform.
Rachel bonn, a user, tweeted: "Actually, the last day that Twitter was Twitter was last Thursday in the San Francisco office. 9-month-old and eight months pregnant. Just lost access to my laptop."
Yoel Roth, Twitter's Head of Safety & Integrity, commented on the #OneTeam thread "Tweeps: My direct message (DM) channels are available to you at all times. Inform me how I can assist."
Roth was the most senior executive to publicly express support for employees who are losing their jobs via a tweet. He also appeared to be still employed. Musk endorsed Roth last week, praising him for having "high integrity," after being criticized for tweets critical of then-U.S. President Donald Trump years earlier.
An inquiry for comment from Roth was not answered.
Twitter said in the email that its offices would be temporarily closed and all badge access suspended in order "to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data."
The company's office in Piccadilly Circus, London, appeared deserted on Friday, with no employees in sight.
Inside, any evidence the social media giant had once occupied the building had been erased. Security staff said there were ongoing refurbishments, refusing to comment further.
The company said employees who were not affected by the layoffs would be notified via their work email addresses. Staff who had been laid off would be notified with next steps to their personal email addresses, the memo said.
Some workers worried that if they tweeted that their access to the company's IT system had been blocked, it might mean they had been fired.
"Looks like I’m unemployed y’all. Just got remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack," tweeted a user with the account @SBkcrn, whose profile is described as former senior community manager at Twitter.
Employees of Twitter have filed a class action lawsuit against the company on Thursday, alleging that the company violated federal and California law by engaging in mass layoffs without giving the required 60 days' notice.
The lawsuit also requested a court order prohibiting Twitter from asking fired employees to sign paperwork without first informing them that the case was still pending.
According to two people familiar with the situation and an internal Slack message seen by the media, Musk has instructed Twitter's teams to find up to $1 billion in annual infrastructure cost savings.
He has already dismissed the chief executive officer and the organization's top financial and legal officials. Others have left over the past week, including those in charge of the company's marketing, advertising, and human resources departments.
The first week that Musk has owned Twitter has been chaotic and uncertain. It was decided to cancel two company-wide meetings a few hours before they were scheduled. Employees claimed to Reuters that they were forced to piece together information from media reports, secret messaging services, and public message boards.
The long-anticipated layoffs have tempered Twitter's renownedly open corporate culture, which has been praised by many of its employees.
"If you are in an office or on your way to an office, please return home," Twitter said in the email on Thursday.
Hundreds of people flocked to the company's Slack channels to say goodbye shortly after the email arrived in employees' inboxes, two employees told Reuters. The sources claimed that Musk was invited to join the channel.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc