Musk loyalist who slept on floor at Twitter speaks out against backlash after getting fired

Esther Crawford tweets about ‘worst take’ commentators can have ‘watching me go all-in on Twitter 2.0’

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Monday 27 February 2023 18:15 GMT

Related: Elon Musk seen sitting with Rupert Murdoch at the Super Bowl

An Elon Musk loyalist pictured sleeping inside Twitter’s office floor to show she was “doing hard things” amid widespread layoffs last year, has been fired from the company.

Esther Crawford, the head of Twitter payments, was among roughly 10 per cent of the staff fired from Twitter in yet another round of job cuts since the billionaire’s takeover of the social media platform.

Twitter Inc has laid off around 200 employees, including product managers, data scientists and engineers who worked on machine learning and site reliability, reported The New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter.

Ms Crawford was pictured sleeping on the office floor in November last year after Mr Musk’s chaotic acquisition of the company.

She had quote tweeted a photo of herself sleeping in the office and said this was because her team was “pushing round the clock to make deadlines”. The former Twitter employee had also added the hashtag “SleepWhereYouWork”.

The post had received accusations that Twitter was imposing a toxic work culture, but Ms Crawford had defended the backlash from the tweet in the same thread.

“Since some people are losing their minds I’ll explain: doing hard things requires sacrifice (time, energy, etc),” she said.

“I have teammates around the world who are putting in the effort to bring something new to life so it’s important to me to show up for them and keep the team unblocked.”

Following the Tesla boss’s takeover, Ms Crawford reportedly “began angling for a bigger role”, but was eventually laid off.

She was one of the executives in charge of Twitter Blue – the site’s subscription service.

In a tweet posted on Sunday, Ms Crawford again defended herself and said she was “deeply proud” of her team.

“The worst take you could have from watching me go all-in on Twitter 2.0 is that my optimism or hard work was a mistake. Those who jeer and mock are necessarily on the sidelines and not in the arena,” she said.

Some of the employees learned about their layoffs via emails while others said they figured they were fired when they could no longer log in to the internal system.

Startup founders who joined the company via acquisitions in the past few years said they have also been cut out.

“Waking up to find I’ve been locked out of my email. Looks like I’m let go,” wrote Martijn de Kuijper, the founder of the newsletter startup Revue.

The latest cuts followed brutal mass layoffs in early November last year, when about 3,700 Twitter employees were sacked in a cost-cutting measure by Mr Musk after he acquired the company for $44bn.

The Twitter chief said the service was experiencing a “massive drop in revenue” as advertisers pulled spending amid concerns about content moderation.

Mr Musk had also assured workers in late November that he had no plans for further layoffs.

Last month, the billionaire said the company had a headcount of about 2,300 active employees.

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