Elon Musk mocked a disabled ex-employee at Twitter after the employee said on the social network that she wasn’t sure if she still had a job.
The controversy began when Haraldur Torleifsson, who has muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair, was sent off. tweet Musk was asked to comment on his job status on Monday.
Thorleifsson, who lives in Iceland, said he lost access to his work computer a few days ago, but Twitter’s human resources department has not confirmed his employment status. That set off a series of tweets between Musk and Thorleifson, with the billionaire asking Thorleifson about his role at the company.
After this exchange Thorleifson said A Twitter human resources official emailed her to confirm that she had been fired, saying “it’s totally fine and it always happens.”
“Companies let people go,” Torleifsson wrote. “It’s within their rights. They usually tell people about it, but it seems to be an optional part of Twitter now.”
Musk responded to a screenshot of the exchange between himself and Torleifson, criticizing the former employee, saying the man “didn’t do a real job” and “used his disability as an excuse.”
“Actually, this guy (self-employed) didn’t do any work, pretending he had a disability that prevented him from typing, while tweeting up a storm. I can’t say I have much. kudos to him,” Musk wrote.
Thorleifsson, the founder of the creative design agency that he sold to Twitter in 2021, told the BBC that he had joined Twitter as a full-time employee as part of the acquisition, with the title of senior director of product design.
Musk added that Thorleifsson wasn’t technically fired because “you can’t be fired if you weren’t fired in the first place.”
After news agencies reported on Musk’s comments, he said he called Torleifsson “to find out exactly what it was against what I was told.”
“It’s better to talk to people than to tweet,” Musk said.
Musk later apologized To Thorleifson “for misunderstanding his situation.”
“It’s based on things that don’t make sense to me, or things that are true in some cases,” Musk said.
Twitter owner’s abusive management style, including firing thousands of employees The social media platform has come under fire from former staffers, lawmakers and management experts. The company too are suing for unpaid vendors and unpaid rent Located in California office space.
Twitter’s workforce has shrunk from about 7,500 before Musk bought it to 2,000 as Musk tried to cut costs.
Alex Sundby contributed reporting.