I'm a Twitter employee. Here's what it's like at the company a day before Musk's purchase deadline.
- Elon Musk is likely to acquire Twitter on Friday, six months after first offering to buy it.
- One employee described trying to work out who'd be at risk if major layoffs were to happen.
This as-told-to-essay is based on a conversation with a Twitter employee about Elon Musk's expected takeover of the company. The person requested anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak publicly. Insider has verified the person's identity and employment. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
Elon Musk is obsessed with puns. That's what I took away from the viral video of his walking into the office with a kitchen sink. It's like he's saying, "Let that sink in."
Over the last few weeks, even the people who weren't really worried are now getting worried. Especially after we heard Musk had said he'd be laying off 75% of the staff.
When I first heard that, my colleagues and I gathered to do some quick napkin calculation to try to figure out where he got that number from. It seems like on a very high level, he's going to cut costs through salary and wages to pay off his debt service costs.
People are asking, if heads are going to roll, whose good graces do you need to be in to stay?
Most people think layoffs are going to be pretty immediate. I don't think our site-reliability engineers need to be worried, though. On the other hand, machine-learning engineers, or the people responsible for building experimental services, are more worried.
I'd be more worried if Musk decides to wipe out teams indiscriminately because then it's just a roll of the dice. But as of now, I'm not that worried. I scored very high on my latest performance review; they're more likely to cut people who are ranked lower than me.
I don't think my colleagues and I have a good model for how volatile he is — and I can see that rocking the boat, especially if he makes more comments that make people say, "What the hell?"
There are also people here who are just unfazed by his volatility. They're not going to react in any way.
I think the strongest reactions have died down over time, with many people that were most skeptical of him having already left. Everyone who's stayed is deciding to see where it goes.
I'm still cautiously optimistic about Elon Musk taking over the company, but it's all contingent on how indiscriminate he is if and when he lays off 75% of the staff.
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