Twitter on Thursday closed its offices and disabled badge access for employees till November 21 amid a wave of resignations in the wake of changes proposed by billionaire owner Elon Musk, The New York Times reported.
On Wednesday, Musk asked the remaining employees to decide within 36 hours whether they want to leave the company or commit to building a “breakthrough Twitter 2.0”. He said that those who decide to leave would get three months of severance pay.
On Thursday, Twitter sent a memo to its employees stating that its offices would be closed till Monday. The memo did not mention any reason for the decision. However, Zoë Schiffer, the managing editor of newsletter Platformer, said that this may have been due to fears that employees could “sabotage the company” and because the company was trying to assess which employees it needs to cut access for.
The microblogging company told employees to refrain from “discussing confidential information on social media, with the press or elsewhere”, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, several Twitter employees announced their decision to quit the company on the platform, with some of them using hashtags #OneTeam and #LoveWhereYouWorked.
Musk and his advisors held meetings with some employees whom they viewed as critical, in order to persuade them to remain with the company, according to The New York Times.
On Thursday, Musk – who had earlier said that he was strictly against remote working – sent an e-mail putting forward his new position. “All that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution,” he wrote. He added that employees should have in-person meetings with their colleagues at least once a month.
Musk later sent a follow-up e-mail that read: “Any manager who falsely claims that someone reporting to them is doing excellent work or that a given role is essential, whether remote or not, will be exited from the company.”
The rapid developments at Twitter led many users to speculate on whether the social media platform’s end was imminent.
However, in response to a query on the future of the platform, Musk claimed: “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”
US senators call for investigation
Meanwhile, on Thursday, seven Democratic Senators in the United States urged the country’s Federal Trade Commission to look into whether the company violated a consumer privacy agreement with the agency after Musk took over ownership.
This was after reports that several security executives at the social media company resigned after Musk changed some data security practices.
Among the senators who wrote to the commission were Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. They said that the “reported changes to internal reviews and data security practices” had placed consumers at risk.
Musk’s Twitter takeover
Musk completed his $44 billion (over Rs 3,36,910 crore) takeover of microblogging platform Twitter on October 28.
Soon afterwards, he removed Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, accusing them of having misled him about the number of fake accounts on the platform.
He later posted a tweet saying: “The bird is freed”, in a reference to the Twitter icon. He also updated his Twitter bio, in which he described himself as “chief Twit”.