He said the “immediate dismissal by email” employees did not have any foresight or innovation, especially those with “expertise and deep institutional knowledge” that preceded him. Musk “even seems to have a basic understanding of the business.”
While federal and California law requires companies to provide early notice of mass layoffs, it’s unclear whether Mr. Musk did just that. A spokesman for the California Employment Development Department said late Thursday that it had not received such notifications from Twitter, which is based in San Francisco and expects to report mass layoffs to the agency.
Under the terms of his acquisition of Twitter, Mr. Musk agreed to keep employee pay and benefits unchanged for a year. Twitter employees typically receive at least two months’ salary and the cash value of equity they were supposed to receive within three months of layoffs, according to an internal benefits summary seen by The Times.
Rumors of impending layoffs have been circulating within the company. On Wednesday, employees noticed a Slack message that hinted at possible layoffs of 3,738 jobs. Changes to the list could still be made, according to a copy seen by The New York Times, the source noted.
On Wednesday night, some employees circulated a “layoff guide” with tips on company oversight and employment rights. An employee created software to help colleagues download important emails and documents. He was later fired, he said.
On Thursday, workers received other signals that their workplaces were changing. Twitter’s “off days,” which are monthly vacations so employees can rest and recharge, have been removed from their calendars, two of the people said. Some employees also noticed that the employee directory had gone offline, according to internal chat transcripts reviewed by The New York Times.
Learn about Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition
“Has the Red Wedding started?” an employee wrote on Slack, referring to the carnage scene in Game of Thrones. Nine minutes later, the company emailed employees to inform employees of the layoffs. Employees who will keep their jobs will receive such a message on their company accounts, while those who are fired will receive a notification on their personal accounts, the message said.