Elon Musk 'firing Twitter employees who criticised him'

Reports over more chaos at social media platform

Elon Musk is overseeing substantial changes at Twitter. Reuters
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Elon Musk is firing Twitter workers who have openly criticised him, The New York Times reported.

The world's richest person axed thousands of positions at the social media platform soon after his $44 billion acquisition at the end of last month.

Mr Musk’s team ordered nearly two dozen employees who spoke out publicly and privately against him to be fired, the newspaper said.

They were told that their contracts had been terminated for “violating company policy”, the Times said.

Developer Eric Frohnhoefer's firing played out in public on the Twitter platform.

He said Mr Musk was "wrong" in an exchange about the apparent slow performance of the app in many countries.

Mr Frohnhoefer suggested Mr Musk "should ask questions privately. Maybe using Slack or email".

"He's fired," Mr Musk responded in a tweet that has since been deleted.

Mr Frohnhoefer later posted an image of his computer showing he had been locked out and also tweeted that he had heard more Twitter staff "were summarily fired last night".

"At this rate no one will be left to run Twitter," he said.

Mr Musk hit back at comments about the firings on Twitter, with what came across as a sarcastic tweet stating: “I would like to apologise for firing these geniuses. Their immense talent will no doubt be of great use elsewhere."

Mr Musk's commentary on the firings didn't end there. He also tweeted an image of pranksters Rahul Ligma and Daniel Johnson, who posed with cardboard boxes as sacked employees outside Twitter headquarters after initial reports of job cuts at the company.

“Welcoming back Ligma & Johnson," Mr Musk tweeted. “Important to admit when I’m wrong & firing them was truly one of my biggest mistakes."

The staff cuts come amid the company losing $4 million a day, according to Mr Musk.

Last week, Mr Musk told Twitter staff that he was against remote work and would only grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

“The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” he wrote in an email to employees following his $44bn acquisition.

New rules stipulate employees have to be in the office for at least 40 hours a week.

He commented on his own workload during a video call at the G20 summit in Bali this week.

"I have too much work on my plate," he said, adding that he was working "from morning until night seven days a week".

"Once Twitter is set on the right path, I think it is a much easier thing to manage than SpaceX or Tesla," Mr Musk said earlier this month at the Baron investment conference, referring to the aerospace company which he also runs.

He has also became embroiled in an online disagreement over free lunches for staff at Twitter.

The New York Times reported that the free meals at the company cafeteria were being revoked, and Mr Musk tweeted that “almost no one came to the office” and the “estimated cost per lunch served in the past 12 months is more than $400".

Meanwhile, Mr Musk tweeted on Tuesday that a new version of Twitter Blue will launch by the end of the month after turmoil over recent changes he made to the subscription plan.

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Updated: November 16, 2022, 8:23 AM
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