A former Twitter executive believes Elon Musk is behaving ‘like the local drunk’ at the helm of the social media platform.
Bruce Daisley, a global vice president until January 2020, expressed his distaste for Musk’s leadership to iNews, focusing on when the CEO accused a former employee of using their disability as an ‘excuse’ not to work.
‘The more Musk behaves like the local drunk – getting into slanging matches with disabled ex-employees – the less current employees will be proud to say they work there,’ Daisley told iNews.
The spat involved Halli Thorleifsson, 45, an employee with muscle dystrophy who was laid off in February. Thorleifsson attempted to engage with Musk on Twitter, as he was unsure if he was fired or not.
Musk later wrote: ‘The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) did no actual work, claimed as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet was simultaneously tweeting up a storm. Can’t say I have a lot of respect for that.’
‘But was he fired?’ he added. ‘No, you can’t be fired if you weren’t working in the first place.’
Musk apologized for questioning Thorleifsson’s work performance a day later.
Daisley also criticized the billionaire for the massive layoffs.
Twitter now has a workforce of less than 2,000, down from 7,500 when Musk took it over in October.
‘It’s a little bit like the character in the cartoon who runs off the cliff but doesn’t fall straight away,’ Daisley told iNews.
‘Initially a lot of commentators were willing to say that the Twitter business was full of slackers, Elon had fired 75% of the employees, and it was still running.
‘Well now Wile E. Coyote has looked down and realized gravity does apply to him, too.’
Daisley’s comments come less than a month since Twitter’s latest round of layoffs that saw Musk sack 200 more staff.
Thorleifsson had believed he was one of the unlucky 200 and shared in a tweet that nine days after the layoffs were announced, Twitter’s head of human resources still had ‘not been able to confirm if [he] is an employee or not’ and that Musk had not answered his emails
The day after employees were notified, Musk tweeted: ‘Hope you have a good Sunday. First day of the rest of your life.’
Last month’s cuts targeted product managers, data scientists and engineers and included product manager and Musk devotee Esther Crawford who led the launch of paid subscription service Twitter Blue.
Musk told employees during a meeting in late November that no more plans for staff reductions were being made.
At the time, Musk defended the decision to fire 3,700 people, saying: ‘There is no choice when the company is losing over $4mn/day.’
He defended the decision, saying that all of those who were fired were offered three months of severance, ‘50% more than legally required’.
But staff suspected another wave of cuts was coming this month after they suddenly lost access to their Slack channel in late February.
Thorleifsson had believed he was one of the unlucky 200 and shared in a tweet that nine days after the layoffs were announced, Twitter’s head of human resources still had ‘not been able to confirm if [he] is an employee or not’ and that Musk had not answered his emails.
He decided to speak to Musk himself (via Twitter), prompting Musk to reply. ‘What work have you been doing.’
The exchange continued when Musk accused Thorleifsson of using his disability as an excuse.
Daily Mail (UK)