New York (CNN) Elon Musk publicly mocked the insecurity of the Twitter employee who didn’t know if he’d been fired in the latest round of cuts and spoke disparagingly aboutto incapacitate the employee In a series of tweets Monday evening. It is the latest example of the billionaire publicly confronting current and former employees of his company.
Haraldur Thorleifsson, a senior manager at Twitter based in Iceland, tweeted to Musk that access to his computer was cut off nine days ago, when it was reported Twitter has laid off about 200 employees. But, Thorlevson said in his tweet, “Your HR manager cannot confirm whether or not you are employed.”
Musk responded in a tweet, asking, “What work have you been doing?” And when Thorleafson presented his to-do list in response, Musk appeared to question several points. “Pictures or not,” he wrote on Twitter. In a separate tweet, the billionaire said Thorlevson “didn’t do any real work, arguing that he had a writing disability.”
Thorlevson explained in a tweet that he suffers from muscular dystrophy, a degenerative disease that he says put him in a wheelchair more than 20 years ago. So was Thorleifsson, who founded a digital commerce company that Twitter acquired in 2021 Recognized by the United Nations And President of Iceland For leading the philanthropic effort to build 1,000 wheelchair ramps around Reykjavík to increase accessibility to the city.
“I can’t do manual labor (which in this case means writing or using a mouse) for long periods of time without my hands starting to cramp,” he said. “However, I could write for an hour or two at a time. This wasn’t a problem with Twitter 1.0 because I was a senior manager and my job was mostly to help teams get going, giving them strategic and tactical advice.”
Thorleifsson did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. Twitter, which has cut much of its PR department, has not responded either.
This isn’t the first time Musk, one of the world’s richest men, has publicly mocked employees of Twitter, the company he bought for $44 billion last year. He has feuded on the platform with former Twitter executives, fired employees who criticized him, and in one instance publicly denounced a former employee’s tweets about him as the result of the “tragic Tourette affair.”
The shocking scene of an employer publicly mocking an employee highlights the unique corporate circus Twitter employees have experienced over the past year. Musk threatened to walk out of the deal, then completed the acquisition only to go through multiple rounds of layoffs. Hundreds of former Twitter employees are now taking legal action against the company, alleging lack of severance promises and, in some cases, discrimination, including against disabled employees.
Meanwhile, the platform seems to be struggling to stay online. On Monday, Twitter experienced one of its biggest outages since Musk’s acquisition, with many users unable to access the site and others having trouble clicking links or viewing images for about an hour. It was the third major technical problem Twitter has faced in less than a month, as Musk cut its staff from about 7,500 before the acquisition to fewer than 2,000 and engaged in a number of other cost-cutting efforts.
After the exchange with Musk, Thorleifsson said in a tweet Twitter’s head of human resources confirmed that he no longer works for the company.
“It’s totally fine and it happens all the time… They usually tell people about this, but that seems to be the optional part on Twitter now,” he said. “However, the next step is to see if Twitter will pay me what they owe me under my contract.”
“Social media evangelist. Student. Reader. Troublemaker. Typical introvert.”
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