Elon Musk issued an ultimatum to Twitter employees on Wednesday—an action that has upset thousands of social media commenters.
In an email headlined “Fork in the Road,” Musk told Twitter staff that they could either stay and help create “Twitter 2.0” or leave the company. The billionaire didn’t specify what Twitter 2.0 might entail; however, he did say that it would be “much more engineering-driven.”
“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” the email read. “This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”
Twitter employees have until 5 pm EST Thursday to decide if they want to stay with the company.
The email was sent at midnight PST, but by Wednesday afternoon, social media users had already begun picking apart the email and criticizing Musk’s “toxic management” style.
“If a job all of a sudden told me I’d have to be ‘extremely hardcore’ and work ‘long hours at high intensity,’ I’d happily leave without a second thought,” @SamKuffelWx wrote. “That’s toxic work environment 101.”
“If you can, absolutely take the severance and gtfo,” @Hamb0o0 advised. “This is the most toxic management that could ever exist.”
“This is not the sign of a great visionary leader. This is the sign of a toxic dictator,” @ldragoon said.
Others said the email’s contents illustrate why companies “need” unions.
“Crap like this is exactly why we need more unions,” @jongraywb tweeted. “Anyways, I wish this man nothing but ill will.”
@stevesilberman echoed the sentiment, writing: “Why #unions were invented.”
“I hope they all choose the severance. Or unionize,” @hikemonster said.
@HaileyPiperSays added: “[As] much as I don’t want Twitter to crumble, I stand with workers. Either it’s time to strike, or every employee should hit that No and take the 3 months’ severance.”
Musk officially took control of Twitter last month after finalizing a months-long $44 billion deal. Since taking the reigns, Musk has implemented widespread cuts across the company, which included firing the entire human rights department.
The SpaceX founder also released a Twitter verification subscription titled “Blue Verified,” which allowed users to receive the Twitter verification checkmark for a monthly fee of $8. But he suspended the service last week after several people used it to create impersonation accounts.
Musk announced on Tuesday that the subscription would relaunch on November 29.
“Punting relaunch of Blue Verified to November 29th to make sure that it is rock solid,” he tweeted.
After reading Wednesday’s email, however, some users fear the platform won’t be around much longer.
“By Friday, only a handful of idiots will be left because anyone sane will take a three-month buyout. I’m going to miss you guys when the lights go out,” @HelenKennedy said.
@BareLefter added: “Genuinely believe Twitter will be gone by Christmas at this point.”