One of Elon Musk’s most loyal Twitter employees has lost her job amid a fresh wave of brutal lay-offs.
In November, Twitter product manager Esther Crawford – who led the controversial Twitter Blue subscription service – went viral after sharing a picture of herself dozing in a sleeping bag on the floor at Twitter HQ.
“When your team is pushing round the clock to make deadlines sometimes you #SleepWhereYouWork,” she tweeted at the time.
The photo generated a huge amount of interest, with many blaming her for supporting a “toxic” workplace, and others claiming she’d soon lose her job anyway, given Twitter’s recent lay-off blitz.
“Since some people are losing their minds I’ll explain: Doing hard things requires sacrifice (time, energy, etc). I have teammates around the world who are putting in the effort to bring something new to life so it’s important to me to show up for them and keep the team unblocked,” she said in defence of the picture.
“I work with amazingly talented and ambitious people here at Twitter and this is not a normal moment in time. We are less than one week into a massive business and cultural transition. People are giving it their all across all functions – product, design, eng, legal, finance, marketing, etc.”
Soon after, Ms Crawford’s move seemed to pay off, with the executive quickly rising to become “among the most influential leaders left from the old guard”, according to the Financial Times.
But that’s now out the window, after she was impacted by the latest round of job cuts, which saw as many as 200 Twitter workers laid off over the weekend – that’s 10% of its remainng workforce - including “hardcore Musk loyalists”, according to Platformerreporter Zoë Schiffer.
Another victim was senior product manager Martijn de Kuijper, who revealed via Twitter he had been locked out of his work email account, indicating he’d also lost his job.
“Waking up to find I’ve been locked out of my email. Looks like I’m let go. Now my … journey is really over.”
The Verge reports that the jobs on the firing line were from the product team as well as other departments, including engineering, sparking rumours that billionaire owner Elon Musk “may be about to install a new regime at the company”.
There have been at least eight different rounds of job cuts at Twitter since Musk took over the social media juggernaut in October 2022 after forking out a staggering $US44 billion ($A66 billion), which resulted in billions of dollars of debt and the selling off of $US15.5 billion ($A23 billion) in Tesla shares.
Musk reportedly owes $US1 billion ($A1.5 billion) in annual interest alone to pay for his Twitter deal, which he began trying to get out almost as soon as he made it last April.
The Information reports that staff numbers have fallen by around 70 per cent as a result of the ongoing Twitter lay-offs, as Musk aggressively attempts to cut costs and boost profits.
Meanwhile, advertising revenue has also plummeted, with major brands pulling back as content moderation concerns grew.
Musk’s cryptic tweet
First day of the rest of your life… https://t.co/Io5nAys2Xb— Ron Pragides (@mrp) February 26, 2023
Meanwhile, attention is turning to a cryptic tweet from Musk himself, posted just hours after the latest lay-offs were announced.
“Hope you have a good Sunday. First day of the rest of your life,” he posted.
The tweet sparked speculation it may have possibly been a veiled dig at Ms Crawford or other employees affected by the job cuts.
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