Is Twitter living its last days? The question is spreading with effervescence on the social network launched in 2006 by Jack Dorsey. On November 17, hundreds of employees rejected the ultimatum posed by their new boss Elon Musk: to agree to ” working long hours at high intensity(minimum forty hours per week) to build the “Twitter 2.0or leave. In the process, hundreds of them announced their departure, while the group decided on Thursday to close its Californian headquarters until Monday.
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Taken over by the founder of Tesla and SpaceX on October 28 for 44 billion dollars after months of hesitation and stock market turmoil, the network with 245 million users is sinking into crisis. In three weeks, Elon Musk had already cut into its workforce, increased from 7,500 to 3,750 employees.
A radical but perilous approach
“He uses the method of wailing and calling[des pleurs et des cris]“, deciphers David Gurlé, founder of the company Symphony and connoisseur of Silicon Valley, where he worked for twenty years.He takes no gloves because he estimates that “20% of the employees do 80% of the work and they are the ones he wants to keep“. A radical but perilous approach.
On Friday, an internal source revealed that three quarters of the workforce may have decided to leave. Only a thousand employees would then remain in office. The recent departures concern in particular the technical teams, developers, moderators and engineers holding key positions in the operation and stability of the platform, including Yoel Roth, the cybersecurity manager.
For David Gurlé, this strategy is “very risky“: “I have no doubt those who remain can make Twitter work, but will they be able to implement the vision Musk has for the future?»
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The main interested party does not seem concerned. “The best remain“, he tweeted on Thursday evening. The 51-year-old billionaire has, however, himself experienced the work of “high intensity» that he demands of his employees today. Then at the head of Tesla, he assured in August 2018 to work one hundred and twenty hours a week, until he burned out.
Many advertisers (General Motors, Carlsberg, Balenciaga, etc.) have in any case suspended their investments.