After gutting Twitter’s staff, Elon Musk told the remaining employees that he plans to hire new engineers and salespeople, The Verge reported Monday. “During a show of hands meeting with Twitter employees today, Musk said the company is done with layoffs and actively recruiting for engineering and sales roles and that employees were encouraged to make recommendations, according to two people in attendance and a partial recording obtained at The Verge,” the report said.
Musk completed his $44 billion purchase of Twitter on Oct. 27 and laid off about half of the company’s 7,500 employees. He sent an ultimatum to the remaining staff last week, saying they must pledge to “work long hours at high intensity” to keep their jobs; the ultimatum came with the choice to stay with the company or step down with three months of severance pay.
Some sales workers who opted to stay after Musk’s ultimatum were reportedly fired soon after. With the latest departures, Twitter would have ended up with around 2,700 employees. Musk also laid off around 5,000 contractors and banned remote work while warning staff of a “catastrophic” economic outlook.
At yesterday’s town hall, Musk reportedly told staff that “in terms of critical hires, I would say people who excel in writing software are the highest priority.” Another report from Verge last week said that “Twitter recruiters have already started reaching out to outside engineers to see if they want to join ‘Twitter 2.0 – an Elon Company'”.
Musk is looking for ‘anyone who actually writes software’
Musk told employees in his ultimatum email that under his ownership, Twitter will be “much more engineering-focused. Product design and management will still be very important and will report to me, but those who write great code will make up the majority of our squad and have the biggest swing.”
Once Musk’s ultimatum deadline passed, he began meeting engineers who chose to stay. In an email to staff on Friday, Musk wrote, “Anyone who actually writes software, please report to the 10th floor at 2 p.m. today. Before you do, please email a bulleted summary of what your code engagements have achieved in the past ~6 months, plus up to 10 screenshots of the most important lines of code.”
Musk may need to hire engineers quickly to keep Twitter systems running smoothly. A Washington Post report quoted a former employee as saying the layoffs and other departures “left multiple critical systems with two, one or even zero engineers.” Gutted departments include “Twitter’s traffic and front-end teams who route engineering requests to the correct back-end departments,” according to a Verge report. “The team that maintains Twitter’s core system libraries that every engineer in the company uses is also gone.”