Elon Musk, the Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Twitter CEO, is known for using memes. On Monday night, Musk posted a meme from the 1999 movie “Office Space” in a defacto exit interview with a former Twitter employee and was met with a lot of criticism.
What Happened: Halli Thorleifsson tweeted at Musk, saying the head of Twitter’s human resources could not confirm whether or not Thorleiffson was still employed by Twitter or not. Musk responded to Thorleiffson, demanding to know what exactly Thorleiffson was working on.
Musk at one point tweeted “Pics or it didn’t happen,” a popular phrase in online circles. In another part of the thread, Musk tweeted a meme from "Office Space," in which two managers are interviewing an employee and ask, “So, what exactly do you do here?”
Mashable reporter Matt Binder tweeted screenshots of the exchange and said, “There is no reason to treat someone like this.” Binder’s tweet has been viewed more than 4.5 million times.
Read Also: Fired Icelandic Entrepreneur On 'Do Not Fire' List Forced To Take On Musk, Dorsey Publicly To Confirm Termination
Who Is Halli Thorleiffson? Thorlieffson founded a design agency called Uneo and ran it for seven years before Twitter acquired the company. At the time, Twitter was run by co-founder Jack Dorsey and not Musk.
Musk poked at Thorlieffson, claiming he was using a disability as an “excuse” for not doing work. Thorlieffson posted a separate Twitter thread outlining his battles with muscular dystrophy, a disease that can slowly take away one’s ability to function properly. Thorlieffson is currently in a wheelchair.
Musk has previously claimed there will be no more mass layoffs at Twitter. But, Monday’s Twitter exchange exemplifies the challenges of running a major tech company in a high-interest rate environment, let alone multiple major tech companies (Tesla, Twitter, SpaceX, etc).
Update: As part of Twitter's deal to acquire Ueno, Thorlieffson chose to be paid in wages instead of stock options. This means that Twitter could be on the hook to pay Thorlieffson $100 million among his departure, according to businessman William LeGate.
Photo: Elon Musk by Heisenberg Media via Wikimedia Commons; "Office Space" poster via IMdB.