An ugly row has broken out at Twitter after Elon Musk decided staff that remained at his newly owned company would no longer be offered free lunch.
Instead, the employees that kept their jobs after Musk wiped out about half of the company’s workforce have been informed they will need to start paying their own way, two employees told NY Times.
The world’s richest person doubled down on Monday after he was criticised for the decision by some.
“He fired 3/4 of the employees. Now he’s planning to starve the rest of them. He’s failure incarnate,” a popular tweet responding to his decision read.
Musk fired back a short time later arguing barely any staff fronted up for lunch anyway.
“Especially bizarre given that almost no one came to the office. Estimated cost per lunch served in past 12 months is >$400,” he wrote.
A former employee who claimed she quit Twitter because of Musk challenged him on the cost of providing breakfast and lunch for staff.
“This is a lie. I ran this program up until a week ago when I resigned because I didn’t want to work for Elon Musk. For breakfast & lunch we spent $20-$25 a day per person. This enabled employees to work thru lunchtime & mtgs. Attendance was anything from 20-50% in the offices,” she tweeted.
Musk however said the ex staff member was “false” and the company spent “$13M/year on food service for San Francisco headquarters”.
“Badge in records show peak occupancy was 25%, average occupancy below 10%. There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast. They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building,” he replied.
Musk last week reportedly emailed staff telling them they would be expected to be in the office for at least 40 hours a week.
The email, sent late on Wednesday (local time), said there was “no way to sugar-coat the message” about the economy and its impact on Twitter, which was dependent on ads, according to business news website Bloomberg.
“The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” Musk wrote to his employees.
In another email, the world’s richest man added that “over the next few days, the absolute top priority is finding and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam.”
Musk – also the CEO of Tesla – told workers at the electric car maker in June that working remotely would no longer be acceptable.