Elon Musk cuts around half of all jobs on Twitter, the process is sometimes chaotic. When an employee wants information about his employee status, the billionaire gets into a high-profile dispute.
In some cases, neither the employees nor the company seem to know who still works for Twitter. After Twitter boss Elon Musk cut thousands of jobs for cost reasons, communication with the short message service seems to be lacking. When Haraldur Thorleifsson was no longer able to log in via his work computer and had not received an answer from his employer for days, the Icelander tweeted to his boss. And Musk responded promptly. The conversation between Musk and his employee turned into a job interview in which the billionaire questioned Thorleifsson's disability. The Icelander with muscular dystrophy is in a wheelchair.
The exchange started rather harmlessly. "Dear Elon Musk," Thorleifsson wrote to his boss. "Nine days ago, access to my work computer was cut off along with about 200 other Twitter employees. However, your human resources manager is unable to confirm whether I am an employee or not. They have not responded to my emails." He hopes for an answer if the Twitter community would retweet his post. Thorleifsson has almost 160,000 Twitter followers (Musk has over 130 million). He joined Twitter in 2021 when the company acquired his startup Ueno under the previous management.
The message then got through to Musk, who asked in which area the Icelander worked. Thorleifsson cited the confidentiality of his employment contract that if Musk's lawyers allowed it to be shared via Twitter, he could talk about it. Musk immediately gave his approval. Thorleifsson listed a number of jobs he holds on Twitter.
Musk then questioned several of his employee's roles before coming to his personal conclusion. "The reality is that this man (who is wealthy) hasn't been doing any real work and is citing as an excuse he has a disability that prevents him from typing, all the while posting a storm of tweets."
The Icelander insisted on pointing out in a friendly tone to his ex-boss the problems his illness entailed and that the real issue was whether he was still an employee of the company or not. Even as the tweet "stormed" Thorleifsson received confirmation that he had been terminated.
A video call between Musk and Thorleifsson then brought clarity - the billionaire followed a little later with an apology: "I would like to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding of his situation. It was based on things I was told that are not true or in some cases true true but not meaningful," Musk wrote. Despite the termination, Thorleifsson is considering staying on Twitter, he continued. It's not likely, however, since the Icelander already has new plans: he wants to open a restaurant in Reykjavik, he announced in a tweet.