Is Twitter living its last days? The question is spreading with gusto on the social network launched in 2006 by Jack Dorsey. On November 17, hundreds of employees rejected the ultimatum of their new boss Elon Musk: to agree to ” working long hours with high intensity(at least forty hours per week) to build “Twitter 2.0or leave. In the process, hundreds of them announced their departure, while the group on Thursday decided to close its California headquarters until Monday.
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Taken over by the founder of Tesla and SpaceX on October 28 for $44 billion 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 his workforce, increasing from 7,500 to 3,750 employees.
A radical but dangerous approach
“He uses the method wailing and calling[des pleurs et des cris]“, suggests David Gurlé, founder of the company Symphony and connoisseur of Silicon Valley, where he worked for twenty years.He does not wear gloves because he believes that “20% of the employees do 80% of the work and they are the ones he wants to keep“. A radical but dangerous 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 latest departures concern in particular the technical teams, developers, moderators and engineers who hold key positions in the operation and stability of the platform, including Yoel Roth, the cyber security manager.
For David Gurlé, this strategy is “very risky“: “I have no doubt that 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. However, the 51-year-old billionaire has himself experienced the work with “high intensity“which he demands of his employees today. So, at the head of Tesla, in August 2018, he assured to work one hundred and twenty hours a week until he burned out.
Many advertisers (General Motors, Carlsberg, Balenciaga, etc.) have suspended their investments in any case.