Elon Musk called out for "painful" shortcomings by viral ex-Twitter employee

San Francisco, California - A fired Twitter product manager said Elon Musk runs the company newly rebranded as X by instinct, not data, and is surrounded by sycophants while his mood changes unpredictably.

Elon Musk makes decisions based on gut instinct, not data, and surrounds himself with sycophants, according to an ex-Twitter employee.
Elon Musk makes decisions based on gut instinct, not data, and surrounds himself with sycophants, according to an ex-Twitter employee.  © ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

Esther Crawford, whose picture sleeping in a Twitter office late last year made her a viral sensation, shared her thoughts on Wednesday in a lengthy post on X.

"I disagree with many of his decisions and am surprised by his willingness to burn so much down, but with enough money and time, something new and innovative may emerge," Crawford said in the post.

Crawford joined Twitter when it bought her startup in 2020, before Musk bought the social media platform for $44 billion.

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"In person Elon is oddly charming and he's genuinely funny," Crawford said. "The challenge is his personality and demeanor can turn on a dime going from excited to angry."

Twitter employees feared being called into meetings with him or having to deliver negative news, according to Crawford.

"At times it felt like the inner circle was too zealous and fanatical in their unwavering support of everything he said," Crawford wrote.

"Product and business decisions were nearly always the result of him following his gut instinct, and he didn't seem compelled to seek out or rely on a lot of data or expertise to inform it."

Musk's chaotic process and lack of empathy "painful"

Twitter was abruptly rebranded as X, with the platform's famous bird logo ditched.
Twitter was abruptly rebranded as X, with the platform's famous bird logo ditched.  © REUTERS

Musk seemed to trust random feedback and Twitter polls more than employees working to solve problems at the company, according to Crawford.

"His boldness, passion and storytelling is inspiring, but his lack of process and empathy is painful."

Musk has proven success tackling engineering problems, but a social networking platform requires emotional intelligence, Crawford said.

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She did not spare the previous management, calling it "bloated" and "soft and entitled," claiming that "teams could spend months building a feature and then some last-minute kerfuffle meant it'd get killed for being too risky."

Musk killed off the Twitter logo this week, replacing the world-recognized blue bird with a white X.

After buying Twitter, Musk had said that he wanted to create a super-app inspired by China's WeChat, which would function as a social media platform and offer messaging and payments.

Since Musk bought Twitter last October, the platform's advertising business has collapsed as marketers and users alike soured on Musk's erratic management style and mass firings that gutted content moderation and affected basic functionality.

Cover photo: ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

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