The former Twitter exec who went viral for sleeping on the office floor said she had no choice but to do so because of Elon Musk’s ‘nearly impossible deadline’

Composite close-up images of Elon Musk and Esther Crawford

Esther Crawford was regarded as one of Elon Musk’s most loyal employees.Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP via Getty Images; Courtesy of Robert Cowherd

  • Esther Crawford said she slept at Twitter’s office because Elon Musk gave her a “nearly impossible deadline.”

  • The ex-Twitter exec went viral for sleeping on the floor in the office shortly after Musk took over.

  • “I was attacked by people on the left and called a billionaire bootlicker,” Crawford said Wednesday.

Former Twitter exec Esther Crawford said she slept on the office floor because Elon Musk gave her a “nearly impossible deadline.”

Crawford, who was director of product management at the social-media giant, which rebranded as X this week, had retweeted the photo of her wrapped up in a sleeping bag on the floor of one of Twitter’s conference rooms in November. “When your team is pushing round the clock to make deadlines sometimes you #SleepWhereYouWork,” Crawford tweeted at the time.

The photo of her, complete with an eye mask, went viral.

During the first few months of Musk’s leadership, Crawford was widely regarded as one of the tech mogul’s most loyal employees. But after being laid off in February, she has turned somewhat against the billionaire, criticizing both his morals and his leadership.

In a video and accompanying Tweet she posted on Wednesday, Crawford detailed her experience of working at Twitter and spoke about the viral photo.

“The real story is pretty simple,” she said in the video. “I was given a nearly impossible deadline for his first project, and as the product lead, I would never ask anyone to do anything I wasn’t willing to do myself.

“I worked round the clock alongside an amazing team spanning many timezones, and we delivered it on schedule – truly against the odds. It was intense but also fun,” she said.

Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on this.

Crawford continued: “I was attacked by people on the left and called a billionaire bootlicker, while simultaneously being attacked by people on the right for being a working mom who was demonized as an example of a woman choosing her career over her family.

“Thankfully I can laugh at myself and I don’t take armchair keyboard ideologues too seriously. Being the main character on the timeline, even for a few minutes, requires a thick skin and a strong sense of self,” she added.

As well as making major changes to Twitter’s app and website – such as reinstating some banned accounts, charging users for blue checks, and introducing a subscription feature – Musk began changing the internal workings of the company as soon as his acquisition went through.

He fired top execs, laid off thousands of other workers, cut back on some perks, and introduced a “hardcore” work culture, with staff being pushed to work long hours and meet tough deadlines.

And this week, he changed Twitter’s name to X and ditched its iconic blue bird logo.

Musk himself is no stranger to sleeping in the office, and some other Twitter workers did the same as they scrambled to keep their jobs. Musk even converted some of the rooms at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters into bedrooms for staff working long hours.

Working at Twitter after the acquisition “was like playing life at Level 10 on Hard Mode,” Crawford said in Wednesday’s post.

“Those first few months were wildly crazy but I wanted to be there and I have no regrets,” she said.

“Showing up and giving it your all should, in most cases, be celebrated. Obviously, you can’t work at that pace forever but there are moments where bursts are mission-critical,” she added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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