On Monday, the billionaire CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter spent his night antagonizing Haraldur Thorleifsson, a now-former senior director of product design on the firm after Thorleifsson tweeted at Musk inquiring whether or not he was nonetheless employed.
In the course of the episode, Musk publicly questioned the previous Twitter employee’s incapacity. Thorleifsson has muscular dystrophy(Opens in a brand new tab) and has used a wheelchair for 20 years.
In line with Thorleifsson, he was locked out of his firm laptop computer 9 days in the past. This is similar weekend that Twitter laid off numerous staff who have been founders of firms that Twitter had acquired earlier than Musk’s takeover. These people have been previously positioned on a “don’t fireplace” checklist as their exit bundle compensation was thought of too costly to pay out. Thorleifsson was the founding father of Ueno, a well-liked artistic design company, which Twitter acquired in 2021.
Thorleifsson shared that though he was remotely denied entry to his pc, Twitter’s human assets division couldn’t verify the standing of his employment.
“Pricey @elonmusk…9 days in the past the entry to my work pc was lower, together with about 200 different Twitter staff,” Thorleifsson tweeted(Opens in a brand new tab). “Nevertheless your head of HR shouldn’t be capable of verify if I’m an worker or not. You’ve got not answered my emails. Possibly if sufficient folks retweet you may reply me right here?”
Musk replied(Opens in a brand new tab), questioning Thorleifsson concerning the work he is carried out at Twitter. It was a weird public request to make and incited Musk’s most hardcore followers to pile on in attacking Thorleifsson.
Thorleifsson sought affirmation from Musk that he might reply with out breaking his confidentiality settlement. On Musk’s approval(Opens in a brand new tab), Thorleifsson laid out what he is carried out at Twitter. Certainly one of his latest accomplishments, in line with Thorleifsson, was to save lots of the corporate $500,000 on a contract with the web design utility instrument, Figma. He additionally says he was the lead on “all energetic design tasks.”
Musk replied(Opens in a brand new tab) with laughing emojis.
It is unclear why Musk laughed on the reply. Some Twitter customers have assumed Musk thought Figma was a joke because of the prankster who pretended to be a laid off Twitter worker named “Rahul Ligma.” Nevertheless, Figma is a really actual design utility firm that was acquired(Opens in a brand new tab) by Adobe for $20 billion final 12 months.
As for Thorleifsson’s work main tasks, Twitter acquired(Opens in a brand new tab) his design company in 2021 particularly with the intent to rent Thorleifsson and his workforce.
Musk seemingly unhappy with the solutions, questioned Thorleifsson additional and requested for proof of the designer’s work.
“Pics or it did not occur,” Musk replied, to which Thorleifsson reminded(Opens in a brand new tab) Musk that he didn’t have entry to his work pc so he could not oblige.
Thorleifsson replied(Opens in a brand new tab) to additional heckling from Musk by declaring he simply needed to know if he nonetheless labored for the corporate, and that he was not questioning Musk’s resolution if he was certainly laid off.
It looks as if issues might’ve ended there, but Musk continued on by citing Thorleifsson’s incapacity in a reply to a different person.
“The truth is that this man (who’s independently rich) did no precise work, claimed as his excuse that he had a incapacity that prevented him from typing, but was concurrently tweeting up a storm,” Musk tweeted(Opens in a brand new tab). “However was he fired? No, you may’t be fired in the event you weren’t working within the first place!”
Thorleifsson received(Opens in a brand new tab) a number of “individual of the 12 months” awards from media organizations in Iceland the place he resides. When his firm was acquired by Twitter in 2021, he selected a technique of cost that may maximize the quantity he would pay in taxes to point out his appreciation to Iceland’s social welfare system. Certainly one of his present tasks, Ramp Up Iceland, is erecting wheelchair ramps all through the nation with a view to make Iceland extra accessible.
No matter all that, the designer was merely asking what his employment standing with the corporate was.
After the preliminary back-and-forth, Thorleifsson determined to share(Opens in a brand new tab) extra about his story in a Twitter thread. In it, he addresses Musk’s obvious trolling by explaining he has began to lose higher physique energy as a part of his situation, and that typing for lengthy intervals is more and more getting tough.
Thorleifsson was capable of get the ultimate blow(Opens in a brand new tab) in on Musk as properly, referencing a brand new report(Opens in a brand new tab) that claims the Twitter proprietor is flanked by two bodyguards wherever he goes inside Twitter as he fears his personal staff.
“Oh! I forgot to say that I learn you may’t go to the bathroom by yourself both @elonmusk,” he tweeted. “I am sorry to listen to about that. I do know the sensation. The one distinction is I can not do it due to a bodily incapacity and also you’re afraid somebody you damage will assault you when you poop.”
UPDATE: Mar. 8, 2023, 2:12 p.m. AEDT Musk is now backtracking just some hours later, claiming to have now held a video name with Thorleifsson to find out “what’s actual vs what I used to be advised.”
“I wish to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding of his scenario,” Musk tweeted.(Opens in a brand new tab) “It was based mostly on issues I used to be advised that have been unfaithful or, in some instances, true, however not significant. He’s contemplating remaining at Twitter.”
This backtrack might have been influenced by the truth that Thorleifsson was reportedly on Twitter’s “don’t fireplace” checklist(Opens in a brand new tab), as his contract entitles him to a really sizable payout. Thorleifsson has not publicly confirmed the assembly nor whether or not he’s contemplating staying on at Twitter.