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‘Hardcore’ Elon Musk drives right into a tradition conflict at Twitter

SAN FRANCISCO: After snapping up Twitter, one in all Silicon Valley’s most iconic firms, Elon Musk Swiftly launched his no-holds-barred work ethic, organising a bitter tradition conflict with hundreds of employees who nonetheless believed within the platform’s larger mission.
In lower than a month, Musk sacked half the corporate’s 7,500 workers, axed executives and engineers who disagreed with him and eventually imposed an ultimatum: work “extraordinarily hardcore” or go away.
The model is harking back to what Musk pushed by means of at TeslaSpaceX and his different firms, the place the multi-billionaire drove his groups exhausting, seeing their private sacrifice as the important thing to success.
After an preliminary willingness to attend and see, Musk’s model has confirmed disconcerting in an organization tradition that valued ethics and a powerful sense of group, even when labored exhausting.
“I’ve the impression that Musk actually likes humanity however not a lot people,” stated Emmanuel Cornet, a software program engineer who was among the many first to be fired from the social media firm after the acquisition on October 27.
Earlier than that, he’d been one of many many workers genuinely curious to see the profitable entrepreneur at work, regardless of his propensity for provocation that has delighted so lots of his followers.
“I believe we had blinkers on. A lot of the workers tried to provide him the good thing about the doubt for so long as doable, and likewise as a result of discovering one other job shouldn’t be essentially straightforward,” he stated.
However Musk, past the large smiles and enthusiastic declarations, has lived as much as his fame, with these remaining having no selection however to provide their job their all.
“His habits continues to be of the bully on the playground, firing anybody who tells him he is mistaken,” stated Sarah Roberts, a social media professor at UCLA. “Any sort of criticism together with his wildly inaccurate… statements will get you fired.”
Cornet was significantly shocked by what he known as an absence of respect from the richest man on the planet.
“In the long run, objectively, he appears to be attempting to assist the planet, with electrical vehicles, specifically,” he stated. “However the folks round him appear disposable.”
Musk brings “this type of swashbuckling bravado from being an entrepreneur keen on issues like rockets and vehicles and massive {hardware} that has spectacular efficiency and actually wows folks,” stated John Wihbey, a media professor at Northeastern College.
“The Twitter tradition is way more low key. It has a politically progressive, geeky, pro-social vibe,” he stated.
The libertarian entrepreneur has lengthy had shut ties with Silicon Valley, the place he co-founded Tesla.
However he has since disavowed politically liberal California, railing in opposition to well being restrictions throughout the pandemic and changing into a hero to conservative libertarians on-line.
On the finish of 2021, he moved the headquarters of his flagship firm to Texas, a majority conservative state.
Twitter was based by Jack Dorsey, who “could be very a lot this type of Zen guru, kind of a non secular seeker vibe,” stated Wihbey.
Staff of the community had been “proud to work there”, he stated. “They actually believed within the product.”
Cornet labored 14 years at Google earlier than going to Twitter, two teams which, on the time, didn’t appear “obsessive about earnings.”
“The sense of group at Twitter is so sturdy it continues after” the playoffs, he stated with admiration. Ex-employees collect on Discord, WhatsApp, sign and different platforms to help one another and be nostalgic.
Many former “tweeps” stated they had been okay with working exhausting, however not only for bombastic guarantees, like “constructing a revolutionary Twitter 2.0”, and on the mercy of brutal decision-making.
When an worker requested throughout a gathering in regards to the threat of attrition, Musk replied that he had no “nice reply.”
“I can inform you what works at Tesla is folks being within the workplace and being hardcore,” he stated.
The mercurial chief abhors earn a living from home — which could be very well-liked with pc engineers — and loves to inform how he slept on web site at Tesla when his firm was “on the verge of chapter.”
“He was in a position to drive issues exhausting at Neuralink, Tesla, or Photo voltaic Metropolis as a result of they’d applied sciences that had been on the frontier or, within the case of Tesla, far sufficient forward of most different industrial automakers. He has a extremely dedicated workforce there, stated Jeffrey Sonnenfeldprofessor at Yale College.
At Twitter, alternatively, the large layoffs, the brand new tradition of coercion and Musk’s “whims” aren’t prone to rally the workers, stated Sonnenfeld, a specialist in company governance.
“At this stage,” stated Sarah Roberts, “for a lot of it is a badge of honor to have been fired by Elon.”

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