December 6, 2022

How Elon Musk’s Twitter Reign Has Bolstered His Brutal Management Style | Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s reputation precedes him.

The boss seems impulsive and demanding SpaceX Tesla is known to put product above all else. Whether the employees who make the products agree with how he plans to achieve his ambitions, or the ambition itself, they are often expected to go above and beyond—sometimes sleeping on the company floor—to achieve it, or otherwise.

Although there is some initial business precedent for the billionaire as president of Twitterhe couldn’t have prepared the social media platform’s employees for what followed in the first month of the acquisition.

Twitter staffers preparing for what’s to come under Musk have been getting glimpses of what kind of boss he’ll be for years. Tesla and coverage of SpaceX and its many lawsuits.

For example, in June, after Musk laid off about 500 workers from Tesla’s Giga plant in Sparks, Nevada, two former employees File a lawsuit against the company Alleging violation of the California Warning (Notification of Worker Modification and Retraining) Act, which requires 60 days advance notice on top of payment and benefits for that period. In 2017, Musk announced that soon-to-be-launched Tesla cars would contain hardware that would eventually allow the cars to drive themselves, surprising and frustrating some. Company’s own engineers. Musk said that, too Tesla employees were expected To work 100 hours a week on the ramp to launch the Model 3. And in 2020, Tesla solved it public relations section.

Workers line up outside a gray tent with a Tesla logo on it.
Workers wait in line for shuttle buses on May 12, 2020 at a Tesla factory in Fremont, California, after CEO Elon Musk announced he was defying Covid-19 restrictions by local officials. Photograph: Stephen Lamm/Reuters

At Twitter, days into the billionaire’s leadership, employees saw similar patterns. In the second week, nearly half of the company’s workforce was laid off without warning, prompting some to do so Preemptively file a class action lawsuit Musk allegedly violated California labor law. Among those laid off was the company’s communications department, leaving Twitter without a public relations team. Twitter is also facing a second complaint filed on behalf of a group of contractors who also claim they did not receive notice prior to their termination.

Meanwhile, Musk made product change announcements or pronouncements on Twitter, and his new hires scrambled to get them done, tweeting pictures of their sleeping bags on the floor. But once employees rolled out new features like paying to verify a Twitter Blue subscription, it made them backtrack on it over several issues — including accounts posing as verified brands and public figures.

But some of what he has done has gone beyond what has been reported or taken into the public arena at Musk’s other companies. Part of that is by design. After a series of employee leaks, Tesla asked its employees to “renew their pledges” and sign off New confidentiality agreements In 2018 he banned them from speaking to the media. The confidentiality agreement has been the subject of a legal challenge from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to Violation of workers’ rights.

At Twitter, where the culture before Musk allowed for a certain degree of pushback or public criticism of company policy, employees — or now former employees — see their voices muffled. Several employees who publicly tweeted corrections or dismissed Musk’s assertions have been fired. In one instance, Musk publicly announced the termination of his named engineer Eric FronhoferHe tweeted “He’s been fired” in response to Frohnhoefer’s tweet correcting an assessment Musk made about why the site was slow. Musk later deleted the tweet. Tesla CEO then Light on terminations. Musk too It said Firing employees who criticized him on Slack, the third-party messaging service employees use internally.

On the productivity front, Musk asked employees to decide whether they were willing to work long hours at “high intensity” or leave and receive a three-month severance, The New York Times reported. mentioned. The deadline for making their decision was Thursday evening. Many employees—some reports estimate 1,000 to 1,200 remaining employees—elected to take a severance, leaving some important roles and teams with a skeleton staff.

“Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade,” he read in the letter he wrote to the employees.

Shannon Lees-Riordan, an attorney representing Twitter employees and contractors who were laid off, said her office has been “getting calls from Twitter employees asking for clarification of their rights.” Presented by Les Riordan A A new lawsuit Thursday, ahead of the deadline, alleges that requiring the company to report to the office and work long hours at a high intensity violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The proposed class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of an engineering director who said he was fired for refusing to notify the office because of a disability that put him at risk of contracting Covid-19.

“Since taking control of Twitter, Elon Musk has put the company’s workers through a great deal of pain and uncertainty in such a short time,” Les-Riordan said in a statement. “His last midnight ultimatum to employees that they have to decide by tomorrow if they want to be part of the ‘new Twitter’ has put them in a very difficult position.”

Musk’s behavior may come as a shock to many, but for former Tesla and SpaceX employees, it’s not entirely surprising. At SpaceX, eight former employees have claimed a similar culture of retaliation and filed a complaint with the NLRB on Thursday claim They were fired for defying Musk in an open letter written in June. Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us. message read.

At Tesla, former employees said Musk cares about little more than product and that negotiating disagreements with the billionaire requires an amount of goodwill that is usually developed through building or helping launch successful products. Working long hours is also inevitable, said a former Tesla employee, so people have to decide how sustainable that is for them.

Musk’s management style and decisions at Twitter will likely continue to be made public due to the nature of the company and the new social media executive’s penchant for Twitter and his inability to resist tweeting. By the end of the first week of November, Musk was walking at a fast pace To tweet more than 25 times a day. But it’s unclear how long Musk plans to stay at the helm of the now embattled platform. In a Nov. 16 trial challenging how the Tesla CEO got a $52bn (£44bn) compensation package approved by the board, Musk said he plans to eventually hand over the reins to Twitter.

“I expect to reduce the time I spend on Twitter and find someone else to run Twitter over time,” He said.