Elon Musk apologizes after calling disabled Twitter employee who was laid off ‘the worst’

- Advertisement -

  • Elon Musk apologized Tuesday after questioning the job performance of a disabled Twitter employee who was fired by the company.
  • Haraldur Thorleifsson, a senior director of product design at Twitter, tweeted to Musk on Monday asking if he was still an employee of the company after losing access to his work computer.
  • Musk publicly questioned Thorleifson about what he was doing at the company. When Thorleifsson explained what he worked on, he replied with two laughing emojis.
  • Musk, who bought the social media site in October for $44 billion, has laid off thousands of employees in a bid to cut costs and return it to profitability.

Elon Musk on Tuesday walked back his attacks on a disabled Twitter employee who was laid off by the company and apologized for the “misunderstanding”.

- Advertisement -

On Tuesday, Twitter’s CEO questioned the work performance of Haraldur Thorleifsson — who goes by “Halli” — who he said has done “almost no work for the past four months.” Musk is also the CEO of the electric car maker Tesla,

“I want to apologize to Hali for my misunderstanding of his condition,” Musk tweeted late Tuesday. “It was based on things I was told were untrue or true in some cases, but not meaningful.”

- Advertisement -

Musk said, “He is considering staying on Twitter.”

Thorleifsson, a disabled Icelandic entrepreneur, found himself drawn into a war of words with Musk after he asked about his employment status. Thorleifson and Twitter, which no longer has a communications department, did not respond to questions from CNBC at the time of publication.

- Advertisement -

On Monday, Thorleifsson, 45, tweeted Musk, saying he had been out of his work computer for several days and failed to receive a response from Twitter’s human resources department on whether he had been fired.

He suggested that he could be one of the 200 employees reportedly let go by the company in February. Thorleifsson lives and works in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, with his wife and two children.

Musk, an avid user of Twitter, responded by asking Thorleifsson, “What are you working on?” To which Thorleifson responded by saying that he saved the company $500,000 on a software-as-a-service contract as a software and led prioritization of design projects.

When Musk probed for more details, Thorleifsson identified the SaaS contract that saved the company money as the design platform Figma, and said that their priority task is related to “all active design projects.”

Kasturi responded with two laughing face emojis and later tweeted a link to a clip from “Office Space”, a comedy film that parodies office working culture, where an employee is asked, ” What do you say here?”

After a back-and-forth with Musk, Thorleifson said he was informed by Twitter’s head of human resources that he was fired.

Musk continued to criticize Thorleifson over his work performance at the company, saying that “he didn’t do any real work, claiming as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet At the same time, Toofani was tweeting.”

If an employee has to ask their boss via Twitter whether or not they still have a job, clearly something has gone wrong.
matt monet
UK and Ireland country lead, deal

Dogecoin co-creator and Musk ally Billy Marcus expressed his disapproval of Musk’s tweets. In a since-deleted response to Marcus, Musk said, “She’s the worst, sorry.”

After a Twitter user said he worked directly with Thorleifsson and found his work “next level,” Musk says he put Thorleifsson on a video call “to find out what I was told.” Was.” Musk then apologized and suggested that Thorleifsson consider staying at Twitter.

Matt Monnett, UK and Ireland country leader at HR platform DL, said there was a “greater need for effective internal communication,” as tech layoffs are on the rise while remote working becomes more common.

“If an employee is having to ask their boss via Twitter whether or not they still have a job, something clearly went wrong,” Monet told CNBC via email. “Employers must ensure they comply with regulations in different countries.”

The incident is one of the most bizarre developments so far in the saga surrounding Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Musk agreed to buy the social media site last year for $44 billion. Since then he has sought to cut costs dramatically to make it a profitable venture.

As part of that strategy, Musk fired thousands of Twitter employees. It cut another 200 jobs last month, according to a New York Times reportIts total employee count dropped from about 7,500 to 2,000 in October.

person of the Year

Thorleifsson was brought to Twitter in 2021 as a senior director of product design following the sale of his company Ueno, a digital brand design agency. He suffers from muscular dystrophy, a disease that causes muscles to degenerate over time. Thorleifsson explained that his disability made it difficult for him to do physical work for long periods of time without starting to cramp his hands.

According to Icelandic ReviewThorleifsson was crowned Iceland’s “Person of the Year” in 2022 by several Icelandic media outlets, partly due to sales of the Uno and his efforts to install wheelchair ramps across the country.

He says the reason he sold the company – which he described as being on unfavorable financial terms – was that his disability made it difficult for him to do physical work.

Thorleifsson says he chose to pay the bargain price in the form of a salary, which way, he could pay more in taxes to contribute to public services.

If he had taken the money as a lump sum, it would have been treated as an investment and he would have paid 22% capital gains tax. However, treating this as salary, he opted to pay a higher 46% income tax rate instead.

Thorleifsson said he is in the dark about whether he will receive severance pay. “Companies let people go, it’s within their rights,” Thorleifsson said on Twitter. “They usually tell people about it but now on Twitter it seems to be an optional part.”

It is not yet clear what he will decide to do next – although he said earlier on Tuesday that he plans to open a restaurant named after his mother in downtown Reykjavik “very soon”.

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

- Advertisement -

Recent Articles

Related Stories