These words are what you should use. tweetedTwitter CEO Elon Muss dismissed an engineer from the company, just before 8 AM Pacific Time. He had previously publicly questioned his boss. It took roughly five hours for the company to disable Eric Frohnhoefer’s access to his company-issued laptop.
Where? SMEFrohnhoefer, who lives in San Diego and called Frohnhoefer on Monday afternoon, said that he’d not received any official communications about the sudden dismissal.
“Nope, nothing,” he said. “They’re all a bunch of cowards.”
That Twitter’s new CEO is firing veteran rank-and-file engineers on a whim, in public, is indicative of the unconventional approach that Musk has taken to running the company.
In the few weeks since Musk bought Twitter, he has summarily fired the previous executive team, and laid off an estimated 50 percent of the company’s workforce. He has instituted a botched plan to have users pay $8 for a “verified” account, with no procedure in place for actual verification. Large advertisers such as General Mills, Volvo and others pulled their money from the platform after impersonation began to plague the accounts of companies and public figures. All the while, Musk continues to tweet, acting as both the company’s chaos agent, and its self-proclaimed white knight.
Are you a Twitter employee? Do you worry about your future job prospects? Reach out to Cyrus Farivar, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Signal at 341-758-0888
The spat between Musk and Frohnhoefer began when Musk tweeted Sunday morning that he wanted to “apologize for Twitter being super slow in many countries.”
Frohnhoefer appeared just hours later. tweeted back: “I have spent ~6yrs working on Twitter for Android and can say this is wrong.”
The two got in a back-and-forth in a public Twitter thread over technical issues concerning the Android app’s performance, with Musk at one point asking on Sunday afternoon: “Twitter is super slow on Android. What have you done to fix that?”
Later that day, after another user chimed in on the thread to admonish Frohnhoefer for criticizing Musk in public, Frohnhoefer responded: “Maybe he should ask questions privately. Maybe using Slack or email.”
Then on Monday morning, at 8:01 a.m. Pacific Time, a third user piped up: “with this kind of attitude, you probably don’t want this guy on your team.”
“How can you function? Employees don’t trust the new management. Management doesn’t trust the employees.”
Just one minute later, Musk threw down the gauntlet – “he’s fired” – and Frohnhoefer responded with a saluting emoji.
Frohnhoefer (41), who was with the company since its inception, stated that the company’s end occurred abruptly on Monday at 1 PM Pacific Time.
“My laptop just shut off and now I can’t get back into it,” he said.
Frohnhoefer said he didn’t have a strong opinion of Musk prior to his arrival at Twitter, characterizing himself as being in the “wait-and-see camp.” But, since the new regime, “it’s gone downhill,” Frohnhoefer noted.
“No one trusts anyone within the company anymore,” he said. “How can you function? Employees don’t trust the new management. The employees don’t trust management. How do you think you’re supposed to get anything done? That’s why there’s production freezes – you can’t merge code, you can’t turn things on without permission from VPs.”
The San Diegan added that he remains “concerned” for the near-future of the company, particularly given how its top leadership treats employees.
Before Musk took over, he said, “people were more open and felt that they could criticize and now that’s clearly not the case,” he said.
Musk is also featured in an additional part of the Twitter thread that was created before the firing. said early Monday that he has “been at Twitter SF HQ all night. Will be working & sleeping here until org is fixed.”
Twitter, which has disbanded its public relations department since Musk’s takeover, did not respond to SME’ request for comment. Musk did not reply to an email request for comment.