Twitter employees singing “when you wish upon a star” seem to have accidentally performed an eldritch rite, and instead of summoning a magical cricket to whisk them away to a land of fun and wonder, employees have summoned the world’s richest billionaire to their door.
As first reported by Bloomberg, the company confirmed in a statement that the planned 2023 retreat to Disneyland was being cancelled to save money.
“We’ve made the difficult decision to not move forward with our OneTeam gathering in 2023, and are limiting domestic and international business travel for business-critical purposes only,” a Twitter spokesperson told Gizmodo. “The reduction of travel and event costs allow us to operate in a more responsible and efficient manner, considering the global macroeconomic environment we’re currently facing.”
The event is called OneTeam, which was last held before the pandemic reared its head in early 2020. Twitter brought staff, or as they called them “Tweeps,” from around the globe to Houston, Texas for its past retreats. It’s likely another blow to morale for a company that’s been buffeted by turbulence since earlier this year, when Tesla CEO Elon Musk first wormed his way onto Twitter’s board, then turned around and said he would simply buy the entire company for $US44 ($61) billion.
Like many tech companies since the start of 2022 Twitter is feeling the pressure of the post-pandemic industry lull. The company fired two top executives early in May and announced a partial hiring freeze, which included a pull on non-labour costs.
So instead of taking a picture with Mickey or Pluto, Twitter employees can look forward to grinding their teeth in front of their computers screens Thursday, as the progressively right-leaning Musk takes their questions in a company-wide town hall. Employees are expected to ask about Musk’s past comments of potential staff cuts as well as undoing staff’s content moderation efforts. Musk has said he doesn’t believe in perma-bans, and would even lift the bans on people like former President Donald Trump.
The company declined to comment further on today’s planned town hall and whether the company’s finances will be a part of the discussion. Musk has said he can turn the company around, but some of his rather limp ideas have included getting verified accounts to pay to tweet or charge third parties to embed tweets. There’s a chance that staff reshuffling will also be a major part of the Tesla CEO’s plans for the company.