New York (CNN) Elon Musk has apologized after being publicly ridiculed for a Twitter employee’s uncertainty about whether he was laid off during a recent round of cuts and talking dismissals. Employee response in a series of tweets on Monday night.
Musk said, “I want to apologize to Haley for my misunderstanding of his position. It was based on things that I was told were untrue or were true in some cases, but not meaningful.” Tweeted Tuesday “He is considering staying on Twitter.”
Earlier, Haraldur Thorleifsson, senior director of Iceland-based Twitter, tweeted at Musk that access to his computer was cut off nine days ago, when Twitter reportedly laid off around 200 employees. But, Thorleifson said in his tweet, “Your head of HR is unable to confirm whether I am an employee or not.”
Musk responded in a tweet asking, “What are you working on?” When Thorleifsson provided a list of his tasks in response, Musk appeared to express skepticism on several points. “Photos or it didn’t happen,” he tweeted. In a separate tweet, the billionaire said that Thorleifsson “didn’t do any real work, claiming as an excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing.”
Thorleifsson clarified in a tweet that he has muscular dystrophy, a degenerative disease that he says confined him to a wheelchair more than 20 years ago. Thorleifsson, who founded a digital branding company acquired by Twitter in 2021, has been recognized by the United Nations and Iceland’s president for his charitable effort to build 1,000 wheelchair ramps around Reykjavik to increase the city’s accessibility.
“I haven’t been able to do manual work (which in this case means typing or using a mouse) for an extended period of time without my hands starting to cramp,” he said. “Although I can write for an hour or two at a time. In Twitter 1.0 this was not a problem as I was a senior director and my job was mostly to help the teams move forward, give them strategic and tactical advice ”
Thorleifson did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. Twitter, which has significantly downsized its public relations department, also did not respond.
It’s not the first time Musk, one of the world’s richest men, has publicly mocked employees at Twitter, the company he bought last year for $44 billion. He has feuded on stage with former Twitter executives, fired employees who criticized him, and in one case publicly dismissed a former employee’s tweets about him, saying he was “adult-onset Tourette’s”. A sad case”.
The shocking spectacle of a company owner publicly mocking an employee highlights the unique corporate circus Twitter employees have experienced over the past year. Musk threatened to bail on the deal, then proceeded with several rounds of layoffs to complete the acquisition. Hundreds of former Twitter employees are now taking legal action against the company, alleging broken promises and, in some cases, discrimination against employees with disabilities.
During this, The platform appears to be struggling to stay online. On Monday, Twitter experienced one of its biggest outages since Musk’s acquisition, with many users unable to fully access the site, and experiencing problems clicking links or viewing photos for nearly an hour. Had to face It was Twitter’s third major technical glitch in less than a month, as Musk slashed fewer than 2,000 employees from about 7,500 before his acquisition and engaged in a series of other cost-cutting efforts.
After the exchange with Musk, Thorleifson said in a tweet that Twitter’s head of HR had confirmed that he is no longer employed by the company.
“Which is totally fine and it happens all the time…they usually tell people about it but now on Twitter it seems to be an optional part,” he said. “Next though is figuring out if Twitter will pay me according to my contract.”