Twitter Engineer Publicly 'Fired' After Trying to One-Up His Boss


The workplace culture in Silicon Valley is far different from most everyday jobs. Big-tech workers have long been envisioned as being overly coddled. Nevertheless, the work environment has been somewhat hidden from public view. Some think the coddling is just convenient work hours.

But many aren’t aware of what truly goes on within the high-tech work environment. Normal “9 to 5” workers would be astonished. Insiders share a working environment that is something more like an amusement park than an office.

To say high-tech employees have had it good would be an understatement. But an inflation-driven financial crunch is hitting every aspect of the U.S. economy. Even big tech companies are feeling pressured to reduce costs.

Some of the most hard-hit big tech venues are social media platforms. Mark Zuckerberg’s seemingly insulated workforce at Meta is no longer. The company that runs social media magnet Facebook is planning to lay off thousands of employees.

The old big tech/social media business model is broken. But one social media platform is under “new management.” Wildly successful entrepreneur Elon Musk bought Twitter. Musk was driven by an internal quest to help restore actual “free speech.”

To do so, he had to lay out billions of his own money to secure ownership of the popular platform. In order to make it a profitable venture, Musk is having to utilize all of his talents for operating successful businesses.

But he’s encountered a workforce nothing like that which he has at Tesla or SpaceX. The Twitter clan is part of the entitled Silicon Valley techie nation. They’ve been coddled like no other worker in American history. They’ve become entitled, or so they think.

Almost the minute Musk took the reins at Twitter, he began cleaning house. Many low-need, overpaid employees have been provided with severance packages and sent packing. The “Chief Twit” is clearing away the excess baggage.

Recently, one Twitter engineer, now an “ex-Twitter engineer,” helped the new owner out. Musk and Twitter engineer Eric Frohnhoefer were having a back-and-forth exchange over the poor performance of the social media site’s Android app.

Musk gave a lengthy, technological explanation of where he felt the problem was. Frohnhoefer apparently didn’t agree with his new boss. That’s no problem. However, it might be more sensible not to call your boss out publicly. It might not end up well.

For Frohnhoefer, it didn’t. The whole disagreement and debate over the nature of the Android problem continued. At one point, Musk directly asked the engineer what had been done to resolve the issue.

First, Musk apologized for Twitter's slowness in a number of nations, setting off the chain of events that led to his termination. Frohnheofer made the decision to tag Musk on Twitter and actually called him a liar.

“I have spent ~6yrs working on Twitter for Android and can say this is wrong,” said Frohnhoefer.

Musk followed up with a tweet asking him directly what he has done to fix the actual problem and asked him what the right number is.

Frohnhoefer responded to another user who said that it was a bad idea to call out Musk publicly by saying Musk “should ask questions privately” by using “Slack or email.”

One Twitter user compared the exchange to fixing a dryer issue after the house burned down. Suggesting the dryer could be a problem long after the damage is done isn’t a bright solution. The user suggested this type of attitude probably wasn’t someone you “wanted on your team.”

But the funniest part of the exchange was the abrupt end of the discussion. Eventually, Musk finished the conversation with a rather poignant closer. “He’s fired.” The moral of this story is that if you want to one-up your boss, it’s probably not the best idea to do it publicly.

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