Elon Musk, the chief executive of Twitter, has issued an apology following a conversation he had on the platform with a member of Twitter’s staff.
It came about after an employee named Halli Thorleifsson sent a tweet to Mr Musk in which she said, “Your head of HR is not able to corroborate if I am employed or not.”
The question that Mr Musk asked in response was, “What task have you been doing?”
Following a number of follow-up questions and responses, Mr Thorleifsson revealed that he was informed via email that he had been terminated from his position.
Following up on their conversation on Twitter, Mr Musk sent out a message on Tuesday in which he referred to Mr Thorleifsson as “the worst.” He later deleted the tweet.
However, Mr Musk appeared to have a change of heart and went to the platform a few hours later to apologize. He also gave the impression that he was willing to give Mr Thorleifsson his job back.
“Because of my misunderstanding of the circumstances surrounding Halli’s predicament, I would like to offer my sincere apologies to him. It was founded on statements that were either not true or, in some instances, accurate but devoid of any meaningful content.”
He went on to say that the person was contemplating staying at Twitter.
On Monday, Mr Thorleifsson gave an exclusive interview to the BBC in which he stated that he was unable to obtain an explanation from the human resources department of Twitter regarding whether or not he had been fired.
He said, “In my opinion, they made a mistake, and at this point, they’re looking for anything to make this a ‘for cause’ firing in order to escape having to fulfill their contractual obligations.”
After selling his creative firm Ueno to Twitter in 2021, Mr Thorleifsson decided not to discuss the sale’s financial terms. However, there is a school of thought that suggests Twitter would be required to compensate him with a sizeable sum upon his retirement from the company.
Because he suffers from muscular dystrophy, Mr Thorleifsson has been an advocate in Iceland for improved access for wheelchair users.
It was reported in the local press that he sold his company to Twitter in a way that would result in him paying a hefty amount of tax to the Icelandic government.
The year before, he was selected as Iceland’s Person of the Year by four different media sources.
Some of Mr Thorleifsson’s erstwhile coworkers were at a loss to comprehend the rationale behind singling him out for such severe condemnation in public.
Daniel Houghton, a photographer, shared a tweet “As someone who has collaborated closely with Halli Thorleifsson during a turnaround, I find it extremely disheartening to see that this has transpired. Not only does he have an unmatched work ethic, but his ability and humility are also on another level.”
Mr Musk replied: “I just finished a video call with Halli to find out what’s actually going on as opposed to what I was led to believe based on your statement. It’s a pretty involved tale. It is preferable to communicate with individuals face-to-face rather than through tweeting.”
After expressing regret for the incident, Mr Musk stated that Mr Thorleifsson was thinking about rejoining Twitter. Since Mr Musk’s explanation, there has been no communication between the BBC and Mr Thorleifsson.
In a previous interview with the BBC, Mr Thorleifsson described the circumstance as being “strange” and “extremely stressful.”
Twitter was contacted for additional comment by the BBC, but the business did not immediately respond to the inquiry.