Shortly after Elon Musk officially bought Twitter on Oct. 27 for $44 billion, Tesla (TSLA) – Get a free report The CEO took the company private and started cutting staff.
He fired Twitter’s CEO, CFO and other executives. His vision for the company called for a much smaller workforce, so mass layoffs began. About 3,700 people were made redundant, about half of the company’s employees.
Many Twitter workers found their jobs unceremoniously gone. Some have simply not been able to access their laptops while others have received the news by virtue of having their Slack accounts blocked.
Then, on Nov. 16, Musk continued the purge by offering Twitter employees an ultimatum. He emailed all employees and told them to expect “long, high-intensity hours” and to agree to these terms. If they didn’t agree, they would face three months’ severance, they were told.
“Moving forward, to build a revolutionary Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk wrote in the email. “That will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only outstanding performance will count as a passing grade,” wrote the billionaire.
“If you’re sure you want to be a part of the new Twitter, click yes on the link below,” he continued. “Anyone who doesn’t do it by 5:00 PM ET tomorrow (Thursday) will get a three-month layoff.”
Musk’s management style is undeniably aggressive and, to some observers, narrow-minded and narrow-minded.
It is against this background that a 2018 employee review of Tesla has now emerged.
An “Ugly Part of Tesla’s Culture”
The survey, referenced in early November in a lawsuit by a Tesla shareholder over Musk’s $50 billion salary package, shows employees have formally filed complaints about the company’s culture and leadership .
“Tesla is hemorrhaging highly talented and fiercely motivated people who truly believe in the company’s vision and continue to hope for its success,” wrote one worker in the survey revealed by Insider. “Elon is a first-rate technical leader, yet he is widely seen as an unapproachable tyrant who devalues staff contributions and can fire them on a whim…we treat people, the fundamental unit of a business, like any other asset expendable.”
Insider reported that the worker added that Tesla “fails to distinguish between technical leadership and people leadership” and called it an “ugly part of Tesla’s culture.”
The survey also revealed the results of employee preference ratings in response to a series of questions. The weakest favorability scores were in the areas of compensation and trust in Musk and his executive team to balance employee interests with those of the company.
Tesla is an ‘extremely toxic environment’
The employee survey revealed a number of additional comments expressing concern. These include the following:
- “Elon needs to take responsibility for the position he has put the team in. He and JB need to take responsibility for that. They must immediately stop firing everyone who reports to them and remove any threat from the way they are doing business. Feel free any time I or anyone around me will be fired, and I don’t intend to stay in that extremely toxic environment much longer.”
- “…the blame placed by Elon and the Exec team on lower-level engineers without owning any accountability for poor design review, non-reality planning, and poor resource allocation has led me to lose all trust Elon as the leader of this company.”
- “… empowers people not to be forced by Elon into unrealistic commitments.”
- “I think there needs to be more culture here at Tesla. I know work is incredibly important and we all need to work hard, but we also need outlets to express ourselves and enjoy ourselves on a more personal level… There are also a few communications from Elon Musk and the executive team… I think that’s important [they] reach out to the company from time to time with exciting updates so you feel more of a sense of community and belonging.”