Elon Musk sets more in-office requirements at Twitter

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SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a conversation with legendary game designer Todd Howard (not pictured) at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, California, June 13, 2019.

Mike Blake | Reuters

A pair of new emails from Elon Musk to Twitter employees says managers must meet in-person with employees — even exceptional ones — at least monthly, and says managers can be terminated for allowing employees to work remotely if they are not “exceptional.”

In a pair of emails sent within the same hour on the afternoon of Nov. 17, Elon Musk said, “Regarding remote work, all that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution. It is also expected that you have in-person meetings with your colleagues on a reasonable cadence, ideally weekly, but not less than once per month.”

Musk went on to threaten managers who don’t uphold his guidelines.

“At the risk of stating the obvious, any manager who falsely claims that someone reporting to them is doing excellent work or that a given role is essential, whether remote or note, will be exited from the company.”

In the email, Musk does not give any guidelines on what constitutes “excellent work.”

The emails come after Musk closed a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter at the end of October, and quickly moved to cut half of the company’s full-time workforce, amounting to roughly 3,700 jobs, and a large swathe of contractors.

One of Musk’s first moves was to reverse the company’s previous “work from home forever” policy, which had been enacted by a personal friend and collaborator of Musk, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

On Thursday, Musk wrote in a pair of team emails: “Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”

He also said he would be fine with people who are “performing at an exceptional level” staying remote if they couldn’t make it in but that he preferred in-office collaboration. But at the time, employees told CNBC they had not gotten formal guidance from HR on remote work.

Here are the emails, transcribed by CNBC:

From: Elon Musk

To: Team at Twitter

Date: Nov. 17, 2022 [Time Stamp removed]

Subj. re: Fork in the Road

Regarding remote work, all that is required for approval is
that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that
you are making an excellent contribution.

It is also expected that you have in-person meetings with
your colleagues on a reasonable cadence, ideally weekly,
but not less than once per month.

And:

From: Elon Musk

To: Team at Twitter

Date: Nov. 17, 2022 [Time Stamp removed]

Subj. re: Fork in the Road

At risk of stating the obvious, any manager who falsely
claims that someone reporting to them is doing excellent
work or that a given role is essential, whether remote or
not, will be exited from the company.

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