- A Twitter employee, Haraldur Ingi Þorleifsson, clashed with Elon Musk on the platform after he was unable to access his work computer and his employment status was not confirmed.
- Haraldur, who had founded Ueno and was acquired by Twitter, eventually found out that he had been laid off, and he expressed concern about receiving the payments owed to him under his contract.
- Musk’s policy of ensuring that every employee left at Twitter is doing hands-on work, such as coding or designing, is reportedly contributing to the company’s ongoing layoffs.
Haraldur Ingi Þorleifsson, a Twitter employee who founded Ueno, and tech billionaire Elon Musk clashed on the microblogging platform on Tuesday.
Haraldur, who Tweets with the handle @iamharaldur, had Tweeted at Elon Musk about his inability to access his work computer for the past nine days. He added that he tried confirming his employment status with the head of HR but was unsuccessful. He had to resort to a public call out because his emails were being ignored.
In response, Elon Musk asked him what his role at Twitter was and he claimed to have:
- led the effort to save about $500k on one SaaS contract, supported closing down many others
- led prioritization of design projects across the company to make sure we were able to deliver with a small team
- led design crits to help level up design across the company
- was hiring manager for all design roles
- worked on efforts to steer the company away from focusing on power users and on to younger users (because our user base is aging).
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However, his response seem to not satisfy the new Twitter owner who pressed on for more details. After a couple of replies, Haraldur informed his followers that the Twitter head of HR finally confirmed to him that he was no longer employed at the company.
For context, Haraldur is not just any employee as his contract is not so simple. His product, Ueno, was acquired by Twitter and as part of the acquisition deal, he would receive his remaining payments in form of salaries.
“But ok, fair enough, I’ve been laid off and I’m ok with that. Next up though is finding out if Twitter will pay me what they owe me per my contract. Or, will Elon Musk, one of the richest people in the world, try to avoid paying?,” he added.
The grouse of the matter is that Musk policy at Twitter is to leave no stone unturned, which means that everyone receiving a salary must be doing hands on work, like writing codes, designing, and so on. This is likely why he replied to a Tweet that mentioned the excahnge between he and Haraldur, by saying:
The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) did no actual work, claimed as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet was simultaneously tweeting up a storm.
Can’t say I have a lot of respect for that.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2023
Which was a mistake because he was insinuating that the ex-Twitter employee was faking his disability and it was not all that serious. In reply, Haraldur said that he was suffering from muscular dystrophy and had been bound to a wheelchair since he was 25, which was 20 years ago. Because of his illness, he is not able to do much manual work anymore, including designing.
He further claimed that he was in constant touch with his manager to see where he could be useful and if he was doing what he was supposed to.
Clearly, the layoffs at Twitter are not going to stop anytime soon as Musk is trying to ensure that every employee left earns their every cent. The platform has been running into problems recently, including outages as often as once a week. For $44 billion, Elon Musk has really dug himself in too deep.
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