A Twitter employee has resorted to messaging Elon Musk to establish whether he is still employed, as the fallout from the company’s programme of job cuts continues.
Halli Thorleifsson sent a tweet to the social network’s chief executive saying: “Your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not.”
The tweet came nine days after Thorleifsson found he was unable to access his work computer and email, along with around 200 other Twitter employees.
Twitter’s global headcount has fallen to around 2,000 from around 7,000 in October 2022 when Musk, founder of Tesla and one of the world’s richest people, bought the company. Twitter’s handling of the redundancies has been widely criticised.
UK Twitter workers allege redundancy was a ‘sham’
“I opened my computer on Sunday morning, nine days ago, and saw that the screen was grey and locked, indicating that I had been locked out of my Twitter accounts,” Thorleifsson told the BBC.
Unsure if he was still senior director of product design, a few days later he started contacting Twitter’s management including Musk and the company’s head of HR.
Thorleifsson said Twitter’s head of HR responded twice but was unable to confirm whether the Iceland-based entrepreneur was still employed by the business.
Dear @elonmusk 👋
9 days ago the access to my work computer was cut, along with about 200 other Twitter employees.
However your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not. You've not answered my emails.
Maybe if enough people retweet you'll answer me here?
— Halli (@iamharaldur) March 6, 2023
Yesterday, he decided to send a tweet to Musk to find out, adding “Maybe if enough people retweet you’ll answer me here?”.
Musk did respond, asking: “What work have you been doing?”
Thorleifsson replied that to answer in a Twitter thread, he would be breaking confidentiality. “If you have your lawyers share in writing that I can do that then I’d be happy to discuss that openly!” he responded.
Musk said: “It’s approved. Go ahead.”
Thorleifsson then sent over a list of things he had been doing at Twitter, which included saving money on software contracts, prioritising design projects across the company, and being the hiring manager for all design roles at Twitter.
Having still not received an answer from Musk about his employment, Thorleifsson shared that Twitter’s head of HR had “miraculously” replied. “So I finally have confirmation that I no longer work at Twitter,” he tweeted.
Musk ended the exchange by sending a tweet with two laughing-face emojis.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2023
Thorleifsson sold his creative design agency Ueno, which he founded in 2014, to Twitter in 2021, becoming an employee as part of the acquisition deal.
One of the reasons he sold up was because he has muscular dystrophy. “I have a few good work years left in me so this was a way to wrap up my company, and set up myself and my family for years when I won’t be able to do as much,” he told the BBC.
Thorleifsson tweeted that his dismissal was “totally ok and it happens all the time. Companies let people go, that’s within their rights.
“They usually tell people about it but that’s seemingly the optional part at Twitter now.”
“But ok, fair enough, I’ve been laid off and I’m ok with that. Next up though is finding out if Twitter will pay me what they owe me per my contract. Or will @elonmusk, one of the richest people in the world, try to avoid paying?”
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