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Elon Musk demands Twitter employees commit to ‘extremely hardcore’ culture or leave

Elon Musk demands Twitter employees commit to ‘extremely hardcore’ culture or leave


Twitter employees can leave with three months of severance or commit to ‘long hours at high intensity.’ Twitter 2.0 begins at 5pm ET on Thursday.

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Elon Musk gave Twitter employees an ultimatum in a midnight email: commit to a “hardcore” culture at Twitter or leave with severance. The Washington Post reports that Musk has asked Twitter employees to sign an online form by 5PM ET on Thursday committing to “long hours at high intensity.” If Twitter employees refuse to sign the form then they will reportedly receive three months of severance pay.

Former Uber engineer Gergely Orosz, who has been reporting on Twitter’s internal changes this week, says Musk’s email outlines a “Twitter 2.0” that will be driven by engineers with “those writing great code” taking a more important role inside the company.

The email arrived barely a week after Musk’s first meeting with Twitter employees, and two weeks after he ordered mass layoffs — cutting roughly half of Twitter’s global workforce. “What works at SpaceX and Tesla is people being in the office and being hardcore,” said Musk during his first meeting with Twitter employees following the cuts.

That language was mirrored in the email to Twitter employees today, with Musk demanding that employees “will need to be extremely hardcore.” Musk has previously asked Tesla workers to “go super hardcore” to meet targets.

Here’s Musk’s full email to Twitter employees:

Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.

Twitter will also be much more engineering-driven. Design and product management will still be very important and report to me, but those writing great code will constitute the majority of our team and have the greatest sway. At its heart, Twitter is a software and servers company, so I think this makes sense.

If you are sure that you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes on the link below:

Anyone who has not done so by 5pm ET tomorrow (Thursday) will receive three months of severance.

Whatever decision you make, thank you for your efforts to make Twitter successful.


Musk previously pushed Twitter employees to launch a new version of Twitter Blue with paid blue check verification with a deadline that would result in firings if it wasn’t met. The new Twitter Blue, which now costs $7.99 per month and gets you a blue verified check mark, eventually launched and quickly led to impersonation and chaos on the social network.

Musk reportedly ignored Twitter’s internal warnings about his paid verification scheme, and Twitter was forced to halt new Blue enrollments after just two days due to issues that resulted in advertisers pausing campaigns. Musk now says Twitter Blue will relaunch on November 29th “to make sure that it is rock solid.”

Musk has also fired as many as 5,500 additional contract Twitter employees recently, and admitted to firing an engineer for correcting him on Twitter. Others who complained publicly also got axed, including some who reportedly complained in the company’s private Slack.

Update, 5:15AM ET: Article updated with more email details from Gergely Orosz.

Correction, 7AM ET: The ultimatum is for Thursday at 5PM ET, not Wednesday. We regret the error.

Update, 8:50AM ET: Article updated with Elon Musk’s full email.