Elon Musk adds allies to Twitter workforce, plans layoffs for Monday

  • Musk just took control of Twitter. Many engineers and department heads worked over the weekend.
  • Several Musk allies have been added to a company roster, with Musk being appointed CEO internally.
  • The layoffs are widely expected to take place on Monday, but could happen on Sunday night.

Elon Musk put Twitter employees to the test this weekend to see who is able and willing to survive under his new reign.

Many engineers worked Saturday and Sunday, even as they were left wondering about their employment status and which of the billionaire’s elite allies might lead them in the coming days.

One current manager described Musk’s buyout as “unlike anything in my 20-year career.”

A number of Musk’s friends and high-ranking associates were added over the weekend to Twitter’s internal directory and Slack, where Musk himself is now listed as CEO, Insider reported. David Sachs, a venture capitalist, Jason Kalacanis, an angel investor and friend of Musk, and Steve Davis, chairman of Musk’s The Boring Company, were added to the official staff list, according to two people familiar with the changes.

The men were all listed with the title of personal software engineer, which is believed to be the symbol for whatever title they may receive in the coming days. Kalakanis, for his part, changed his biography on Twitter by writing “chief meme officer” of the platform. Musk’s Twitter bio only describes him as “chief twit,” despite his internal status as CEO. Sachs has made no public reference to his work on Twitter.

Other names to be added to the list include Andrew Musk, an engineer at Neuralink who is believed to be unrelated to Elon Musk, and RJ Sekator, a leader in Tesla’s Autopilot division. Employees also noticed a James Musk being sent and endorsed on internal documents. Musk has a 16-year-old son, Saxon James Musk, who he frequently mentions on Twitter, although Twitter workers have yet to see any confirmation that James Musk is related to their new owner. Alex Spiro, Musk’s longtime lawyer, is also working on the transition, acting as “de facto” chief legal officer for the company, Insider reported.

Employees have received little or no communication from Musk or his leadership team in recent days, three employees told Insider, despite Musk officially taking control of Twitter on Thursday night. All asked not to be named discussing internal company matters. A Twitter spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

However, many engineers and vice presidents of the company worked over the weekend, especially those who decided to stay on Twitter and try to keep their jobs.

“Proximity is huge right now,” one of the people said, saying workers feel better about being close to the action. There’s a feeling among employees that some of the recent things they’ve been asked to do, like print out recent coding work for Musk to see (only to be told to throw it away) and work over the weekend, are a test for Show who has worked hard and who is likely to continue to do so.

“That’s it,” said one of the people in the know, describing the feeling at the company under Musk. “Your job is on the line.”

Many engineers were tasked over the weekend with “sprints,” set periods of time to perform coding tasks. Meanwhile, the vice presidents took over their department stack rankings and drew up lists for Musk and his team on who will continue at the company, Insider reported. The “code review” meetings are held on a rolling basis with senior engineers, the people familiar added, believed to be primarily for Musk to figure out which organizations within Twitter can be cut.

As for layoffs, such action is now widely expected to begin on Monday but could begin as soon as Sunday, one of the people said, as “lists” of people to keep and let go are finalized and expected to be shared late on Monday. Sunday .

People who have been working over the weekend and have generally been “up-to-date” on what’s going on since Musk took over and have been assigned various duties are expected to remain employed, both said. As well as those Twitter leaders who have been posting positively about Musk and the conversations they’ve had with him since his acquisition became official, such as Joel Roth, head of security and integrity (whom Musk followed on Sunday), Sarah Personett , chief customer officer, and Leslie Berland, Twitter CMO.

Some workers have reacted differently to the chaos and rapidly changing work environment. They’ve been joking on Twitter about how little has been said to them for whatever happens and changing requirements, with one posting a selfie with a small stack of printed code.

Others continued to tweet or retweet posts criticizing Musk and his actions thus far. Dozens of workers liked a tweet from a former engineer who said leaders on Twitter “who happily took selfies” with Musk when he appeared in office earlier in the week “and shared empty messages of excitement” need to “take a long, hard look in the mirror before facing the their team on Monday.”

As for who Musk likely wants to cut, he was asked early Sunday on Twitter what was “the most confusing thing on Twitter right now?” He replied: “There seem to be 10 people ‘managing’ for every one person coding.” Internally, many managers are actually already frozen out, the people in the know told Insider, locked out of recent work being done by engineers and vice presidents.

Are you a Twitter employee or someone with knowledge to share? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com in our secure messaging app signal at 949-280-0267 or via Twitter DM @hayskali. Reach out using a broken device.

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