Firms File Defamation Complaints Against Elon Musk’s Bosses on Woo Ex-Twitter Staff

Are you put off by Elon Musk’s muscle management style? Send it to us! That’s the method used by talent-hungry tech companies trying to lure thousands of former Twitter Inc employees who were fired by the social media company under its new owner.

Twitter fired top executives and forced job cuts with little warning following Musk’s tumultuous takeover of the social media giant. About half of the workforce – about 3,700 workers – were laid off.

Hundreds more reportedly quit because of his radical reforms. On Monday, the head of operations in France was the latest chief executive to leave.

An opportunity to explore, some companies are now trying to pick up experienced engineering talent by asking for their disdain for the ways of the richest man in the world.

Katie Burke, the chief executive of US software company Hubspot, criticized Musk for reports that he fired a group of employees who criticized him from the company’s internal Slack channels. Reuters could not confirm the reports.

“As a leader, criticism is part of your job,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Great leaders recognize debate and disagreement make you better and it’s part of the process. If you’re looking for a place where you can argue (kindly, clearly) with people, HubSpot is hiring.”

By late Monday, Burke’s post had garnered more than 35,000 positive reactions on LinkedIn.

Twitter and Musk did not respond to requests for comment.

Other companies use the same approach as Hubspot.

Amanda Richardson, CEO of recruiting software CoderPad, published an open letter to those who left Twitter.

Citing Musk’s initial ban on remote working, Richardson described Musk’s take as “s, show” which has been “very frustrating, depressing and sad”.

“At CoderPad, we believe that your skills mean everything. Not where you sit. Not when you sleep on the job. You don’t work 7 days a week 18 hours a day.”

Other major US tech companies including Meta and Amazon have also laid off thousands of workers in recent weeks due to the uncertain economic climate.

But Musk’s public criticism highlights the strong demand in parts of the sector for workers with high digital skills.

A recent report from market analysis firm Gartner found high inflation rates and a flurry of digitization efforts across businesses and the government have created a “highly competitive” market for tech talent.

Multiple job cuts and public resignations at Twitter have sparked concerns that the company is shedding key employees and fears that the social media “town square” could face technical problems.

Michael Weening, CEO of US cloud and software company Calix, described the latest events on Twitter as “disturbing”, and promised new hires they would enjoy a corporate culture that “starts with our team members” in the same LinkedIn post.

“From our point of view, this is a good opportunity, as people who were not talking to us before are disappointed and looking,” Weening told Reuters. “Toxic culture has people who say, ‘No more.’

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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