Elon Musk fired a veteran Twitter engineer via Twitter, kind of. “He’s fired,” Musk tweeted shortly after the engineer, named Eric Frohnhoefer, publicly questioned his boss. The Twitter CEO later deleted the tweet, but Frohnhoefer confirmed his dismissal from the company to Forbes. He didn’t get fired via Twitter, technically, but Musk did let everyone know what’s going on.
It all began when Musk tweeted an apology for “Twitter being super slow in many countries”. He shared some numbers to back up his claim that the app is slow, particularly on Android. Frohnhoefer, who worked on Twitter’s Android app for about six years, quoted the tweet and said that “this is wrong”. In response, Musk asked the engineer to correct him and provide the right number. “Twitter is super slow on Android. What have you done to fix that?” the Twitter boss further added.
A back-and-forth conversation between the two ensued. Frohnhoefer tried to correct Musk by providing more numbers. It all happened publicly in the eyes of millions of Twitter users. A user chimed in advising the Twitter engineer to ask questions to his boss privately. But Frohnhoefer didn’t stop. Meanwhile, another user advised Musk that “with this kind of attitude, you probably don’t want this guy on your team”. Within a minute, the Twitter CEO replied saying “he’s fired.”
Frohnhoefer responded to the now-deleted tweet announcing his dismissal from Twitter with a “saluting face” emoji. In an interview with Forbes, the now-ex-Twitter engineer said it took the company roughly five hours to disable his access to the company-issued laptop. The laptop was remotely locked with no formal communication from Twitter. “Nope, nothing,” Frohnhoefer said. “They’re all a bunch of cowards.”
The fired Twitter engineer says there’s no trust between employees
Frohnhoefer says Twitter has “gone downhill” since Musk’s takeover. Employees no longer trust their colleagues and seniors. “No one trusts anyone within the company anymore,” he said, adding that he is concerned about the social network’s future. “How can you function? Employees don’t trust the new management. Management doesn’t trust the employees. How do you think you’re supposed to get anything done?”
Musk has already fired about 50 percent of Twitter’s full-time employees and 80 percent of contract workers. He also dissolved the Twitter board and disbanded the communications team. Many teams reportedly don’t have any leaders. Meanwhile, the Twitter boss continues to announce new features for the platform. It remains to be seen how the social network changes under Musk’s leadership. We will keep you posted with all the latest developments.