One of Twitter’s last remaining heads from before Elon Musk takeover has quit

One of Twitter’s last remaining heads from before Elon Musk takeover has quit

One of Twitter’s last remaining heads from before Tesla titan Elon Musk’s takeover has resigned.

Twitter’s head of product and engineering Behnam Rezaei was one of the company’s last “non-Elon Musk appointed leaders,” according to Platformer journalist Zoe Schiffer.

“Yesterday was my last day at Twitter. It has been an absolute honor working with so many amazing people in the last 5.5 years,” Mr Rezaei tweeted on Thursday.

“My respect and gratitude to great tweeps and engineers of the past who built Twitter’s core product and infrastructure. This site being here despite all the odds is proof of your excellence,” he added.

Joining Twitter in 2017 as its senior director of engineering, Mr Rezaei became its product engineering lead in November 2022.

“I joined Twitter for People and Product, and it never ceased to amaze me. While the product looks simple, enabling healthy public conversation, I would argue it is one of those mission impossibles of our time but one worth solving,” he noted in a tweet following his departure from the company.

Mr Rezaei is the latest in the line of Twitter executives who have quit in recent times.

Katie Marcotte, the social media company’s acting head of human resources who has worked at the tech giant for a decade, announed she was leaving the company in a tweet on her private account on Tuesday.

Since Mr Musk’s takeover, Twitter has seen mass layoffs that have cut its workforce by over half, with the Tesla titan noting in December that about 2,000 employees remain compared to the over 7,000 who worked for the company in 2021.

The multibillionaire said he had “no choice” but to fire around 3,700 employees at Twitter as the company was losing $4m per day.

In the days following the layoffs, several more employees resigned as the Tesla titan gave them a choice to either pledge to “hardcore” work or part ways with severance pay.

In November, Twitter’s Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth as well as chief security officer Lea Kissner quit the company.

In the same month, the company also lost its chief privacy officer Damien Kieran and chief compliance officer Marianne Fogarty.

The head of Twitter’s French operations Damien Viel also quit the company in November.

The job cuts and resignations have also seemingly affected Twitter’s revenue.

Following the mass layoffs, reports suggested over a third of Twitter’s biggest advertisers stopped marketing on the site.

Some companies said they refrained from advertising on the microblogging platform citing concerns about “brand safety” after Mr Musk’s takeover, likely because of weakened content moderation following the layoffs.

In a Twitter spaces discussion, the Tesla chief compared the company to a “plane that is headed towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work”.

The company has reportedly been adopting several cost-cutting measures, such as contemplating the consequences of not paying severance fees to its staff fired during the mass layoff.

Sam Stryker, who formerly managed the entertainment social team at Twitter, tweeted on Thursday that he has “never even seen a severance letter let alone been offered severance” after he was laid off at the company two months ago.

Ms Schiffer also tweeted on Thursday that Twitter was cutting employee benefits starting this quarter.

“Commuter benefits, family planning, and meal allowances are all out. Coffee and snacks are staying, per an internal email,” the tech journalist said.

Last month, the Tesla chief also reportedly instructed not pay vendors, including rent for its offices.

Twitter had more than $136,000 (£113,000) in overdue rent on its offices in San Francisco, according to a lawsuit filed last week.

Mr Musk is also selling some of Twitter’s office items from its San Francisco headquarters, including some high-end office furniture, a statue of the company’s iconic blue bird, espresso machines and an electric bike-charging station.

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