Eric Frohnhoefer had been a Twitter employee for more than eight years until Sunday afternoon, when he pushed back against new CEO Elon Musk on Twitter. Less than 24 hours later, Frohnhoefer was fired.
Firing By Tweet: The Twitter CEO tweeted Sunday around 1 p.m. ET apologizing for Twitter being slow in many countries, blaming “poorly batched” remote procedure calls (RPCs).
Frohnhoefer quote tweeted Musk’s apology, saying that he has worked on the Android team at Twitter for about six years, and Musk’s assessment is incorrect.
I have spent ~6yrs working on Twitter for Android and can say this is wrong. https://t.co/sh30ZxpD0N
— Eric Frohnhoefer @ 🏡 (@EricFrohnhoefer) November 13, 2022
Another developer replied, saying that Frohnhoefer should have informed Musk privately that he was incorrect. Frohnhoefer responded saying that Musk should have inquired via Slack or email, instead of publicly diagnosing Twitter’s issue without inquiring with its developers.
Musk tweeted on Monday that Frohnhoefer has been fired. It’s safe to assume that Frohnhoefer knew that publicly criticizing Musk would almost certainly have professional ramifications.
In fact, it appears like he was trying to get fired, or at the very least was willing to accept that outcome.
Frohnhoefer’s departure comes a week after former Head of Trust And Safety Yoel Roth and former Chief Privacy Officer Damien Kieran also left the company. Musk’s takeover has been disorganized, leaving even some of his ardent supporters dumbfounded.
The Context: This is also not the first time that Musk has fired an employee for social media posts. In May, Tesla fired an employee for posting self-driving reviews on YouTube. Many people are pointing out the fact that Musk claims to support free speech, but is very strict with what his employees are able to say online.
How quickly Frohnhoefer went from tweeting on Sunday to being fired epitomizes just how much of a rollercoaster Musk’s short tenure as “Chief Twit” has been.
Last week, multiple companies saw billions in market cap erased after trolls took advantage of Twitter’s new “Twitter Blue” features that offered anyone a verification blue checkmark for $8 a month.
Twitter has since rolled back that $8-a-month package. Musk also reportedly warned what’s left of Twitter’s employees that bankruptcy is not off the table.
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