An ugly row erupted on Twitter after Elon Musk decided that staff who remained at his newly-owned company would no longer be offered free lunches.
Instead, employees who kept their jobs after Musk cut about half the company’s workforce have been told they will have to start paying their own way, two employees said. NY Times.
The world’s richest person doubled down on Monday after some criticized him for the decision.
“He fired 3/4 of the employees. Now he plans to starve the rest. He’s failure incarnate,” read a popular tweet in response to his decision.
Musk shot back a short time later, arguing that hardly any staff showed up for lunch anyway.
“Especially strange considering hardly anyone came to the office. Estimated cost per lunch served in the last 12 months is >$400,” he wrote.
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A former employee who claimed she left Twitter because of Musk challenged him over the cost of providing breakfast and lunch to staff.
“This is a lie. I was in this program until a week ago when I quit because I didn’t want to work for Elon Musk. For breakfast and lunch we spent $20 to $25 a day per person. This allowed employees to work during lunch and meetings “The attendance was between 20 and 50% in the offices,” he wrote on Twitter.
However, Musk said the former staff member was “fake” and that the company spent “$13 million a year on food service for the San Francisco headquarters.”
“The badge in the records shows that the maximum occupancy was 25%, the average occupancy was less than 10%. There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast. They don’t even bother to serve dinner, because there is no one in the building,” he replied. .
Last week, Musk sent an email to staff telling them they are expected to be in the office at least 40 hours a week.
The email, sent late Wednesday (local time), said there was “no way to sweeten the message” about the economy and its impact on Twitter, which relied on ads, according to a 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 highest priority is to find and suspend any verified bots/trolls/spam.”
Musk – also Tesla’s CEO – told workers at the electric car maker in June that working remotely would no longer be acceptable.
Originally published as Elon Musk makes controversial decision about staff lunches on Twitter