To salvage his new company’s financial health, Elon Musk is cutting costs on Twitter where he can. It stinks for the remaining employees.
Twitter was once considered a mecca for workers. Great offices, top canteen, good salaries and – as many former employees write – a really pleasant working atmosphere. Then came Elon Musk. After putting $44 billion on the table, the US billionaire violently took over the helm. Since then, chaos and horror has reigned – not only within the remaining workforce.
His first steps as the new owner are well known: mass layoffs, the sale of large parts of the inventory and legally questionable austerity measures, such as the refusal to pay severance payments and travel expenses.
Twitter is threatened with sacking
As the “New York Times” now reports, Musk is increasingly running his company into the abyss. It starts with the technical equipment of his social network. On Christmas Eve, he is said to have instructed employees to fly to Sacramento to literally pull the plug on numerous servers there. As if by a miracle, the consequences for the accessibility of the site were limited. The reason for the campaign: Servers cost a lot of money – and the less you need, the cheaper it gets.
Internally, the shutdown caused significantly more chaos, because of course the computers had a function. Internal tools, such as the reporting system for illegal content, are said to have been unavailable. In addition, Twitter was robbed of around 30 percent of its total computing power, which could take revenge in times of great rush, said those affected.
But Musk isn’t just proving to be a talent for reducing ongoing costs – he’s also increasingly blocking payments for things that are no longer actually negotiable. He is said to have stopped paying rent and instructed employees to renegotiate the contract terms while withholding money – or to cut business relationships.
According to the New York Times, this affected payments to companies such as Deloitte and KPMG, but also rents for the Twitter office in Seattle or San Francisco. In Seattle, according to the report, Twitter is about to be evicted – apparently on purpose. Musk has instructed employees at this location to initially continue working in the home office, writes journalist Zoë Schiffer.
The paint is off
Where Twitter employees still have to go to the office – Elon Musk actually hates working from home – things are becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Not much is left of the company’s glamor because the austerity measures do not mean that anyone there will feel comfortable anymore.
Musk has caused caretaker and security services to no longer be available. He also ordered the remaining employees to a small selection of floors and closed the vacant premises. The measures are now causing conditions that are otherwise only known from stuffy student flats, it is said.
The “New York Times” writes that Twitter offices are now smelling of leftover food and the smell of sweat. Due to the lack of cleaning staff, many employees would bring their own toilet paper with them, although going to the loo is said to be more of an effort every day.
Twitter acts like a kind of “Jenga” tower: Musk is removing more and more building blocks and seems certain that his structure will remain standing. But what if other players also start shaking sensitive areas? The first lawsuits against Twitter are already underway, and former employees from Germany are also fighting against unlawful dismissals.
If, to these countless disputes, a group of creditors aggressively demands back rents, bills and fees, the austerity-weakened company could collapse. Especially since Twitter’s legal department is virtually non-existent (read more here).