Chaos and confusion reign ahead of Twitter layoffs

November 3 (Reuters) – Fear and terror swept through the offices of Twitter Inc on Thursday as 7,500 employees from San Francisco to Singapore feared job cuts that were expected to affect around half of staff, according to current employees and old and message board posts shared with Reuters.

Since billionaire Elon Musk took office last week, he has kept employees in the dark. He did not address staff or outline his plans for the future of the company, leaving workers to study message boards, news reports and tweets from Musk and his advisers for clues about their fate, several employees said.

Managers were banned from calling team meetings or communicating directly with staff, a senior Twitter official said, adding that they were being watched.

“It feels like working within the Gestapo,” they said.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Employees have largely stopped posting to Slack’s internal channels for fear of retaliation from new bosses, with many opting instead for encrypted messaging apps and the company’s dedicated Twitter channel on the Internet. Blind app, which provides space for employees to share information anonymously.

“I’m really worried about the tweeps,” a Twitter staffer wrote Thursday on Blind, which verifies employees through their work email addresses. Twitter colleagues often refer to each other as “tweeps”.

The comment only scratched the surface of the dark and apprehensive mood at the social media company now controlled by the chief executive of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O). Employees are waiting to hear if they will still have jobs on Friday, when layoffs are expected to begin, according to speculation among employees.

WAITING FOR THE AX

Some Twitter employees stopped taking calls or responding to emails from customers asking for information because they were unsure whether they still had a job, an employee told Reuters.

Others rushed to meet deadlines by Friday US time as they expected the ax to fall, another employee said. A manager tweeted a photo of herself sleeping on the office floor in a silver sleeping bag.

While some worried about annual bonuses or how they would be notified of layoffs, others rushed to apply for jobs at other companies. International employees were worried about the status of their visas. An employee asked Blind for advice on whether it was worth mentioning Twitter on his resume.

Employees who spoke with Reuters said they learned about changes at their company by watching their work schedules and screenshots of managers’ chats, not from official communications from Musk or other executives.

An employee has confirmed that “rest days”, which are very popular days off across the company, have been removed from calendars for the rest of the year.

“Give us the details,” wrote a Google employee in a blind message to Twitter staff.

“It’s worse than anything you read. Much worse,” one Twitter employee replied.

Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas and Katie Paul in Palo Alto, Calif. Additional reporting by Arriana McLymore in New York Editing by Kenneth Li and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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