Elon Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter has taken another turn with employees being told that the company’s offices worldwide will be temporarily closed, effective immediately.
Without any explanation being provided, workers at the social media giant have been sent messages that their offices will be closed until Monday.
According to reports, it is thought that large numbers of staff were quitting after Musk called on them to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or leave.
The message went on to say: “Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere.”
This week Musk told Twitter employees they would have to commit to working long hours and would “need to be extremely hardcore” or leave the company. He told workers they had to agree to the pledge if they wanted to stay, the Washington Post reported.
Those who did not sign up by Thursday 17 November would be given three months’ severance pay, Musk said.
Earlier this month the company said that it was cutting around 50% of its workforce.
Employees have been tweeting using the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked and a saluting emoji to show they were leaving the firm.
One ex-Twitter staffer who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC: “I think when the dust clears today, there’s probably going to be fewer than 2,000 people left.” The former worker added of what was his team: “The manager of that team, his manager was terminated. And then that manager’s manager was terminated. The person above that was one of the execs terminated on the first day. So there’s nobody left in that chain of command.”
Before Musk took control of Twitter the company had about 7,500 staff. The firm was also reported to have employed thousands of contract workers, most of whom have been laid off.
Another former Twitter worker stated that they were prepared to work long hours, and had already been doing so but the new owner’s style was so appalling they could not continue in the role. They said: “I didn’t want to work for someone who threatened us over email multiple times about only ‘exceptional tweeps should work here’ when I was already working 60-70 hours weekly.”
Musk tweeted earlier this week: “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried”.
Within the past few hours he also tweeted a skull and crossbones emoji and a meme showing a gravestone with the Twitter logo on it.
On Tuesday he fired a Twitter engineer in public for replying to him in order to “debunk” assertions Musk had made. Elon Musk tweeted on November 13, apologising for the Twitter app being slow in many countries. When Eric Frohnhoefer said the claim by his boss was wrong, he was sacked via a tweet. However, the tweet was later deleted by Musk.