The past five months have been nothing short of tumultuous for Twitter since Elon Musk took over the reins of the social media platform. Headlines have been dominated by layoffs and resignations, as the exodus of talent and brutal waves of restructuring have rocked the company.
While dramatic changes are common after a takeover, the ferocity of the events at Twitter has been unprecedented. The existing executives were the first to go, followed by the rank and file. Some were let go through layoffs, while others left by choice. There are stories abound, from managers listing their best employees for promotion only to fire them, to even Elon loyalists who took up the “SleepWhereYouWork” mantra being shown the door.
Now that the dust has settled and the chess pieces have been rearranged, the question on everyone’s mind is what happened to all those who left? Where did they go, and who won and lost the war for Twitter talent? We analyzed the 1,434 employees who are no longer at Twitter, individuals who had dedicated themselves to building one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, to find out. ( Get this data Click Here )
Is it possible that Elon, a product of the PayPal Mafia, might have created a new “Twitter Mafia” by laying off and pushing off top talent at Twitter? That’s what some, like Alphonzo Tyrell, former Global Head of Social and Editorial and the founders of the Spill App, believe. The founders of a string of new companies, such as SUKHIBA, Jackscrew, Gymmate, and Hyperviolet, are also hoping for a new Twitter Mafia to emerge.
It will be interesting to see how the venture community and the market embrace former executives who have joined stealth startups, including Arnaud Weber, former VP of Engineering for Consumer Products, John Barnett, former Product Lead of Twitter’s Communities product, Scott Swensen, former Sr. Data Scientist for Twitter’s Healthcare Team, Diem Nguyen, former Data Scientist, Peter Clowes, former Senior Software Engineer, and Ravi Kiran Holur Vijay, former Machine Learning Senior Manager who has co-founded a Generative AI startup.
More than a third of Twitter’s executives have joined companies outside of tech, from Peloton to American Express, to Warner Media to the MIT Center for Constructive Communication. Perhaps people had enough of the volatility of the past year and sought greener pastures.
The impact of Elon’s acquisition on Twitter is yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure: the story of Twitter’s departed talent has just begun to be written, and it is likely to usher in an era of creativity that will be fun to watch. Will a new Twitter Mafia emerge? Only time will tell.
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