Twitter fired employees who publicly called out Elon Musk

One of them said 'no one trusts anyone within the company anymore.'

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Mariella Moon
November 15, 2022 1:31 AM
In this article: news, gear, Twitter, Elon Musk
An image of new Twitter owner Elon Musk is seen surrounded by Twitter logos in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on 08 November, 2022.
STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least three Twitter employees who survived the mass layoffs that cut the company's workforce in half have been fired after calling out their new boss on the platform. One of them is Eric Frohnhoefer, who responded to Elon Musk's tweet apologizing for Twitter being slow in many countries. "App is doing >1000 poorly batched RPCs just to render a home timeline!" Musk wrote. Frohnhoefer responded that after six years of working on Twitter for Android, he can say that Musk's statement "is wrong." 

The multi-company executive then asked him what the right number was and what has he done to fix Twitter for Android, which has been "super slow." He replied with the work his team has done for the app and listed a few reasons on why it's slow: "First it's bloated with features that get little usage. Second, we have accumulated years of tech debt as we have traded velocity and features over perf. Third, we spend a lot of time waiting for network responses."

Their exchange went on in several threads, and when one user told Frohnhoefer that he should've informed his boss privately, he replied: "Maybe he should ask questions privately. Maybe using Slack or email." After that, Musk informed everyone on Twitter that Fronhoefer had been fired.

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The former Twitter app engineer told Forbes that he had gotten no communication from Twitter about his dismissal and that his laptop "just shut off." He added that "[n]o one trusts anyone within the company anymore," so it's been hard to function. The former Twitter employee also said that before Musk took over, "people were more open and felt that they could criticize and now that’s clearly not the case."

Another engineer named Ben Leib was also fired, Bloomberg has confirmed. Leib also responded to the same apology tweet by Musk, saying that as a former "tech lead for timelines infrastructure at Twitter," their new owner had no idea what he was talking about. And then there's Sasha Solomon, a tech lead for the company who chimed in with her own response to the same Musk tweet and who later announced that she, too, got fired.

There have been massive changes over at Twitter after Elon Musk officially purchased the company. He immediately dismissed its top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, and ordered mass layoffs that saw around 50 percent of the social network's employees lose their jobs. Twitter also launched the $8-a-month Blue subscription that provided everyone who can pay access to instant verification. Making the blue checkmark easy to obtain, however, led to the rise in impersonation and legitimate-looking fake accounts on the website. 

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Twitter fired employees who publicly called out Elon Musk