Musk involved in bizarre Twitter exchange with worker who wasn’t sure if he had been fired

Musk involved in bizarre Twitter exchange with worker who wasn’t sure if he had been fired

Elon Musk concluded a bizarre Twitter exchange with a worker who was not sure if he had been sacked by the company.

A Twitter thread by Icelandic entrepreneur Haraldur Thorleifsson to which Mr Musk responded has gone viral on the platform, engaging more than 11 million people.

Mr Thorleifsson, who goes by the pseudonym Halli, said access to his work computer was cut nine days ago when Twitter sacked about 200 more employees.

“However, your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not. You’ve not answered my emails. Maybe if enough people retweet you’ll answer me here?” he said, tagging the Twitter CEO.

He went on to ask for help from co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, saying: “I joined because I believed in what you were building”.

Hours later on Monday, Mr Musk responded to the thread by asking: “What work have you been doing?”

Mr Thorleifsson said his answer would mean breaking confidentiality and asked if his former boss’s lawyers could approve that in writing so that he could break terms of confidentiality.

“It’s approved, you go ahead,” Mr Musk said.

The Twitter employee said he led the efforts to save about $500k on one SaaS contract and led prioritisation of design projects across the company to make sure Twitter was able to deliver with a small team.

Mr Musk asked Mr Thorleifsson more specific questions about the SaaS contract and design projects.

Mr Musk ended the exchange by sharing two laughing emojis, without offering a clear answer to his question.

Mr Thorleifsson is a disabled Icelandic professional who founded and ran a design agency called Uneo for seven years before it was acquired by Twitter in 2021, according to his website. Mr Thorleifsson received the Person of the Year in Iceland in 2022 and made headlines for negotiating the acquisition price of his company Ueno to be paid as salary instead so that he could pay 46 per cent in taxes instead of 22 per cent.

Taking Mr Musk’s reaction in his stride, Mr Thorleifsson said he did not mind Mr Musk laughing as he is himself was quite funny. He said he got an email by HR confirming he was fired.

“Then all of the sudden, Twitter’s head of HR, (who had previously twice been unable to tell me if I had a job or not) emailed and said I was no longer employed,” he said.

“Which is totally ok and it happens all the time. Companies let people go, that’s within their rights. They usually tell people about it but that’s seemingly the optional part at Twitter now,” he added.

He said next up is to find out if “one of the richest people in the world” will pay him his dues.

In another round of layoff last week, Twitter let go at least 200 staff, cutting back 10 per cent of its 2000 people strong workforce, according to a report by The New York Times.

Mr Musk, who acquired the social media platform in October 2022, has steadily sacked about 50 per cent of employees, laying off 7,500 as he sought to reduce costs.

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