- Twitter employees sobbed in the bathroom at a Halloween party for fear of being fired, The Verge reported.
- A program manager told Insider that after Elon Musk’s acquisition, staff panicked about upcoming layoffs.
- She said she discovered she was fired when she was kicked off Twitter’s work systems.
Twitter employees were anxious, panicked and crying in the bathroom of the company’s office as the Elon Musk acquisition went ahead amid growing concerns about layoffs.
A former Twitter engineer told The Verge that people were sobbing in the bathroom during a Halloween party at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, the night Elon Musk bought the company in a $44 billion deal. The Washington Post previously reported that some employees left the party crying.
The ex-engineer said colleagues had gathered at the long-planned Halloween party to keep in the festive spirit, but many were concerned about rumors that Musk was planning to lay off 75% of the company.
An unnamed executive cited by The Verge recalled crying about what they feared was the end of Twitter, then immediately someone dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Twitter’s then-head of product Jay Sullivan told the former engineer that Musk completed his takeover of the company during the party, saying, “It’s done,” according to The Verge.
One of Musk’s first steps as CEO of Twitter was firing a number of top managersincluding general counsel Sean Edgett, who was escorted from Twitter headquarters during the Halloween party, according to The Verge.
Musk then identified 3,700 people — about 50% of the company’s then 7,500 employees — to be laid off in its first week. Managers were ranking employees and compiling lists of employees to stay or be fired.
Helen-Sage Lee, a Twitter program manager who was fired by the company about a week after Musk took over, told Insider that after Musk’s acquisition was first announced in the spring, staff received some messages from leadership , but “there wasn’t a lot of information about what the future of our work would look like.”
Lee said that Twitter had told staff in a Nov. 3 email that information about layoffs would come the next daywhich “led to a lot of panic within the workforce,” she said.
Just hours after Twitter sent that email to staff, Lee noticed that some of her colleagues’ accounts “started to deactivate,” she said.
Lee said she thought she would be safe from the layoffs, but was kicked off Twitter’s work systems on the night of Nov. 3. She called this way of finding out she was fired “so unworthy.”
Former Twitter employees have been working together since Musk took over, with laid-off employees helping each other find jobs and meeting to discuss their experiences at the company. Lee said the staff “relied on each other throughout the takeover”.
“A lot of us have really grown together,” she added.