Former Twitter Employee Says He Spent 9 Days Trying To Figure Out If He Had Been Laid Off

After losing access to his work laptop, former Twitter director Haraldur Thorleifsson spent nine days trying to confirm whether or not he’d been laid off by the social-media company.

He engaged in a public dispute with Twitter owner Elon Musk on Monday, in which he questioned his employment status. Thorleifsson claimed that Twitter’s head of HR had informed him via email that he had indeed been laid off.

Earlier on Monday, Thorleifsson had tagged Musk in a tweet, stating that he had lost access to his work laptop nine days earlier and was unable to confirm whether or not he had been laid off. He also mentioned that Twitter’s head of HR had not been able to confirm his employment status on two occasions. Thorleifsson had reached out to Musk via email about the issue but did not receive a response.

“You have every right to lay me off,” Thorleifsson said in a tweet to Musk. “That’s totally fair and fine. But usually, people are told when that happens. Maybe with a letter or something. Which didn’t happen for 9 days despite multiple emails to you and others.”

Three minutes after posting the tweet, Thorleifsson said he’d received confirmation that he no longer had a job at Twitter. “Again, that’s totally within your rights,” he said. “No complaints. But can you make sure I get paid what I’m owed?”

Musk later responded to Thorleifsson’s tweet and said: “What work have you been doing?” This sparked a fractious back-and-forth between Thorleifsson and Musk.

Thorleifsson was the founder of Ueno, a creative agency that Twitter purchased in 2021. After the acquisition, Thorleifsson worked as a director at Twitter, based in Reykjavik, Iceland, according to his LinkedIn profile.

On February 28, Platformer reported that Thorleifsson was one of four senior managers who had been placed on a “do not fire” list because it would have been too expensive to pay them off. However, all four were ultimately laid off, along with roughly 200 other Twitter workers during the latest round of layoffs.

Since completing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October, Elon Musk has cut thousands of Twitter staff. The four managers’ layoff despite being on the “do not fire” list highlights the cutthroat nature of the restructuring process, as companies look to streamline their operations and cut costs.

The dispute highlights the potential lack of clarity and communication within companies during the layoff process, which can lead to confusion and frustration for employees.

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