Elon Musk tells Twitter staff to “work long hours at high intensity” or leave

The new Twitter boss set out his demands in an email leaked to various publications

Elon Musk has told his staff at Twitter that they must “work long hours at high intensity” or leave the company.

In an email that he sent to staff, which has been seen by The Washington Post and The Guardian, the new Twitter owner said that employees “will need to be extremely hardcore” in order to safeguard the social media platform’s future.

“This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade,” Musk reportedly wrote.

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He has given staff the option to sign up to the agreement by 5pm ET (10pm GMT) today (November 17). If they don’t, they will exit the company with three months’ severance pay.

Musk’s ultimatum is a success drive – “part of the new Twitter” – after he revealed earlier this month that the company is losing $4million (£3.51million) a day.

He said in the email that workers would be expected in the office for at least 40 hours a week and that there is “no way to sugar-coat the message” that the slowing global economy was going to impact Twitter’s advertising revenues.

The CEO, who also heads up Tesla and SpaceX, added in his email: “Whatever decision you make, thank you for your efforts to make Twitter successful.”

elon musk
Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum’s 2022 Hallowe’en Party at Sake No Hana at Moxy LES on October 31, 2022 in New York City. (Picture: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

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The world’s richest man has already announced that half of Twitter’s staff are being let go, after he bought the company in a $44billion (£38.7billion) deal last month.

Musk has blamed “activist groups pressuring advertisers” for a “massive drop in revenue”.

However, tech investor Sarah Kunst has claimed to BBC News that the real reason Twitter is facing difficulties is because Musk’s takeover has landed the company with debt.

She alleged that Musk’s behaviour since taking over has spooked some advertisers who have paused their spending on the platform. “He’s now trying to inflict that pain and uncertainty on the employees,” Kunst said.

In the three weeks since Musk bought Twitter the entrepreneur has announced plans for a subscription-based verification program. He originally floated the idea for $20 (£17) monthly charge which he’s since dropped to $8 (£7).

Musk reportedly fired multiple high-ranking executives at Twitter Inc following the acquisition deal being closed. Those included CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and legal affairs, and policy chief Vijaya Gadde (via Reuters).

Last week Musk detailed plans to turn Twitter into a bank while also warning the social network’s employees of the business’s dire financial state.

According to The Verge Musk addressed Twitter’s employees directly on November 10 for the first time since his takeover of the company was completed in October.

In a Q&A session that lasted just under an hour, he revealed an ambition to bring payment features to Twitter, arguing that sending a direct message and sending a payment are “basically the same thing”.

“I think there’s this transformative opportunity in payments. And payments really are just the exchange of information,” the businessman said.

“From an information standpoint, [there’s] not a huge difference between, say, just sending a direct message and sending a payment. They are basically the same thing. In principle, you can use a direct messaging stack for payments.”

Elsewhere, a number of Hollywood actors with verified Twitter accounts have had their pages suspended for parodying Musk.

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