I tried rewriting his email to live up to this promise:
- - -
We're cutting our workforce to strengthen Twitter as a company.
The team has been deciding how to best streamline Twitter, Vine, and Periscope to put their focus on the projects which will have the greatest impact. Moments, which we launched last week, is a great beginning. It's a peek into the future of how people will see what's going on in the world.
We plan to cut up to 336 people. This was a tough decision, and we'll offer each person a generous exit package and help finding a new job. Product and Engineering are going to make the most changes. Engineering will be smaller but remain the biggest percentage of the organization, and other departments will be cut in parallel.
This isn't easy. We'll honor those who we're losing with our service to all the people who use Twitter. We'll do it with a more purpose-built team. Thank you all for your trust and understanding here. As always, please reach out to me directly with any ideas or questions.
If you are writing a decisive message that can greatly impact many people's lives: write the decision first.
Don't "sandwich" the truth. Sandwiching only makes sense when the decision or the mistake is not of huge significance. Beating around the bush in matters of great import will always harm the sincerity of your words.
After you've stated clearly what the decision is, right after that, you can justify it however you wish.
Going by my twitter feed, they implemented the decision first, with people discovering they were locked out of their twitter accounts and RAS before the announcement was made.
Judging by the contents of this email: the goal might be to confound or confuse counter-arguments to the decision, limit the damage PR-wise (and stock wise), and above all, insulate the new executive staff from a groundswell of anger/hatred from the bottom.
My instincts as a writer, and maybe a bit as a human being, is that you shouldn't try to fool the people who support you. If the author of the email (probably not Dorsey) was a stronger writer, and perhaps free of some pressures, I'd like to think he or she could have both been fair to those under him or her, and also protected from their wrath.
I too would be very interested in seeing historical examples of leaders forced to write messages explaining tough decisions. Would you happen to have any?
The goal is for the employees to feel as if you ARE being honest, and that they have something positive to focus on that is not just plain disappointment and insecurity.
Plenty of corporate drones take this too far and focus too much on the sugar-coating to the point that only other top corporate drones think the email is a good one.
But I think Dorsey's passes the b.s. test (Most people's reactions, even those being fired isn't going to be "what a load of b.s.")
Could he be more direct? Yes. But it would come at a risk of coming off as callous and incosiderate.
Unfortunately I can't figure out what books I read and I'm having a hard time finding studies (just keep finding damn buzzfeed like article about using the sandwich). If someone else finds these sources or debunks them I would be greatly appreciated :)
Then he rewrites it focusing on what the person reading it is concerned about: themselves. The key was to focus on the questions a reader will ask, "How will this effect me?" and "What should I do?"
But for the most part it does lead with the decision being communicated, i.e. that there will be a "restructuring of our workforce", commonly understood to mean layoffs.
I think Dorsey's email is pretty crap-free. I think to the extent that he employs long forms or euphemisms, it's intentionally intended to communicate compassion.
Management is hard, because people are going to read any interpretation that they want into your actions, and there's almost always the potential of reading in a negative interpretation. You truly can't please everyone. All you can do is try to do the best, most reasonable thing, and keep as many people on your side as possible while doing it. There's probably a lot more people that would see "we're cutting" as crass than there are people that see "we're reorganizing" as patronizing.
There would be no reason to make disclaimers otherwise.
It's a form of the, "I'm not a racist, but...", style of argument.
The fairness is in the labeling (we do not want to unfairly label those who were not actually dishonest or unprofessional; sometimes mistakes do occur), not in the response to the behavior.
It did not assure me that there will be no more cuts in the near future. It will put fear in all twitter employees and they will be looking for work elsewhere.
"and other departments will be cut in parallel" what other departments? layoff announcement should be complete. This is an incomplete email about an incomplete decision.
"336" wtf, this email should talk in percentage, like, We plan to cut up to 1.4% of our workforce.
Complete bull (IMO)
I'm sure the guys being laid off appreciate their boss' rhetorical prowess.
we thought we would grow very fast and we hired accordingly. Turns out we didn't grow that fast so now we're firing accordingly.
Please don't be mad at us! If things work out as we hope they will with Moments and all the rest, we may want to hire you back in the future because you folks are not so shoddy after all.
I don't know what is meant by "generous exit package", but it may be enough to tide the employees over to their next job.
So is it a startup? Idk wtf a startup is but Twitter isn't a blue chip.
Kids: do not use either if you care about the judgment of your elders.
Bonus protip: until you vest, you should care.
It might be pragmatic to care about the judgment of one's ignorant elders, when the ignorant have power over you, but in no other sense should one care about such opinions.
Or if you're a VC, it's "tech company whose current valuation is based on future value"
That said, it's clear they are struggling to stay alive and that is a trait of many start ups.
Wikipedia defines startup as a new business in the form of a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.
Not sure where an exact "point" is (if one even exists) but would seem that Twitter (a nearly ten year old company with revenues of $1.4B) no longer fits that definition.
Shit got real, gotta drop, 336 deep. Mainly ingenieros. Don't get shook, all drops get $. Keep keeping on. Questions? Holla @ur boy. -J
Keep ya heads up and Eyes on the prize fam. Stay woke & drop a RT/fave so I know its real. #TweepsGoDeep #GottaGoLeanToRegulate
They're going to let me be CEO again, but as part of the deal I had to fire a bunch of people. Mostly engineers since I'm told there are many of them who cost too much and don't seem to impact the top line. Please let's all be nice about the whole thing, so it doesn't turn into a PR disaster.
I have seen this exact thing happen in a company I used to work for. It was the catalyst that made me look for another job.
I'm not saying this is the case with Twitter, I don't know anything about Twitter as a company.
This probably doesn't happen in smaller startups, but I've worked in several medium and large size companies and have seen it happen.
It doesn't matter if you're getting along with your coworkers, they aren't the ones making the layoff decisions.
Those engineers are usually fairly vocal about obstacles. Managers should learn to interpret this signal, suss out the root cause (usually easy) and eliminate it (usually hard).
Twitter might actually be better served by promoting some set of the folks that landed on the cut list.
Well in this case it maybe what happened. They are eliminating the root cause -- the actors ;-)
Basically always think twice and watch your back. HR is not your friend to confide in, being disgruntled and pointing to issues need to be done carefully. In an irrational organization it will backfire -- you are labeled as a disgruntled trouble-maker.
They might have written some of the best code in a feature that management doesn't want anymore (Twitter API anyone?) but that doesn't necessarily translate in being part of those that are kept.
Maybe the dev lived in a town where they are closing the whole office and relocation is too much $$$ compared to a package. Maybe she just hasn't been with Twitter long enough to shine outside of her immediate team (who're all being cut). Maybe the folks drawing up lists had to make some concessions to keep some of their friends employed (consciously or otherwise.)
Maybe they had some stock options or something they were holding onto??
As a logical exercise, if we assign some risk to your employer terminating you (I imagine especially for publicly traded companies one could come up with some more-accurate-than-guess-formula), then there would be a point at which the risk of your current employer would outweigh the risk of leaving to find another job. Or, another way, the risk-reward between two different jobs could be measured (e.g. working at risky Startup X vs stable Retail Bank Y).
http://www.stern.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/assets/document... "Estimating the Probability of Bankruptcy"
One of the things companies do when growth stops and they want to increase profits is lay people off (it's kinda a classic MBA move).
Case in point - Target's acquisition of the Zellers leases on their locations.
I had over a dozen people I know who were offered pretty lucrative jobs there. I know another half dozen who balked at their offers (including myself). The people who went were only there about 6 months. Right away, there were signs this was doomed.
For several months all I heard and read was stories about how this was not going very well at all. Two of my friends who took jobs started looking as rumors swept through their departments. They both found employment in short order, right before the roof collapsed and Target announced over 1,700 layoffs.
If you decided to wait it out, you were now entering a market were you had a lot of competition for your same job at any number of businesses in the area. Thus, reducing the likelihood of finding something quickly. I have several friends who still haven't found a job six months later.
I went through the first dot com bust with two startups. Because of that scary experience, I've always been leery of my continuing employment anywhere. I'm become somewhat adept at reading signs and realizing when something is about to go tits up. As such, I interview constantly, and always have an exit strategy for any position I take, whether its a perm gig or a contract gig. I constantly look over my shoulder and its served me well.
Of the people I knew well when I worked there, the more talented ambitious has been gone for 6 months already.
Interesting that they call out hard to recruit engineering roles specifically - I bet every recruitment agent who has twitter guys and gals in his list is cold calling the ones still remaining.
What do you say... you do here?
If anyone is ever fired or laid off, the CEO should be immediately replaced.
Or alternatively, no one should ever be fired.
Twitter no longer requires the services of 336 current employees. Twitter must do what is best for Twitter and what will lead to optimal financial measures over the next 12 months.
The executives of Twitter chose who to fire based on the belief that the remaining employees will lead to the best products and therefore greatest profits.
HR will provide people getting fired with a list of open positions elsewhere. Twitter will give fired employees some money to help them survive and make non-fired employees feel better about their own situation.
Firing people is unpleasant for the executives of Twitter.
Please believe that you can affect the decisions that are made by executives at Twitter.
"Roadmap" -> plan, strategy
"Structural change" -> internal reorganizing, lay-offs
"Nimbler" -> fewer employees, which we hope will make us become more agile
"Streamlined" -> ambiguous and essentially meaningless by itself
"Impactful" -> revenue- and/or growth-generating, maybe "important"
I'm as much a hater of overuse of jargon as the next person, but for his intended audience I don't think this is an example of that. If one doesn't know what any of those words mean, then "Hello, welcome to Hacker News."
It's like the difference between legalese and regular English.
I'll give you "structural change" though, which I think is just a euphemism for layoffs.
Legalese is also more precise, but also violates the "give it to you straight" principle.
Content free filler might be a more polite way to put it.
I could demonstrate the uselessness of content free filler by inserting (VLM took a breath here) (VLM fixed a typo here) all through my post above, but all it would do it boost word count and water down the core message, kinda like .... yeah.
There is another story on the front page at this moment about training a neural network to generate clickbait... I'd like to see a trained NN that eats CorporateSpeak and outputs English. It smells simple; at least at a low performance level it just has to pattern match and eat "content free filler" or whatever you want to call it.
*Perhaps with the exception of "roadmap", which is actually a better word choice than "plan" or "strategy" as it connotes a long journey ahead.
We're cutting 336 people from our workforce to strengthen the company.
We are deciding how to streamline Twitter, Vine, and Periscope to focus on projects with the greatest impact.
Moments, which we launched last week, is a great beginning. It's a peek into the future of discovery.
We'll offer each person a generous exit package and help finding a new job.
Engineering will be smaller but remain the biggest percentage of the organization, and other departments will be cut in parallel.
Thank you all for everything. As always, please reach out to me directly with anything.
We're cutting 336 people from our workforce. Sorry for that. We'll offer each person a generous exit package and help finding a new job.
336 people will be fired. We hope it brings our stock price back up.
Stock in the dumps, 336 chumps are fired.
336 people out. We'll compensate.
Error: No payroll records for your username. ("We fixed the glitch!"
> I've been impacted by $TWTR's layoffs. This is how I found out this morning.
[screenshot of iOS account showing inaccessible @twitter.com account]
Stock in the dumps, firing 336 chumps.
> Moments, which we launched last week, is a great beginning.
> Moments, which we launched last week, illustrates the problem. It missed the mark.
I honestly don't think Jack or Ev think Moments, in its current incarnation, embodies what Twitter is or should be.
* "Reach out" - I doubt that Mr. Dorsey wants people literally reaching out to him.
* "Streamline" - literal physical air flow is probably not involved here, and it's not even a particularly good metaphor.
> "Engineering will be smaller but remain the biggest percentage of the organization"
As an Engineer, you don't want to hear that corporate is slashing just your team, and that it's affects the entire company. You're right, it doesn't matter to those who were laid off, but it does to the people who aren't.
> "Thank you all for your trust and understanding here"
Same thing. You're right that someone who is being laid off doesn't care or want to understand. They're probably really asking those who are staying on, and losing their colleagues, to understand why those people are leaving and that it isn't a statement about a perceived lack of value in the engineering team in general.
Some of this is just human. Not wanting to hurt people's feelings is real. Wanting to get that across is human.
I mean, you have this kind of thing in everyday life, without lawyers and CEOs. Want to hang out after work? Sorry, my wife would kill me. Little lies & euphemisms are human.
Really? Does it? I think Twitter needs a strong Twitter, shareholders need a strong Twitter even Twitter employees need it. However the world is, at best, ambivalent about Twitter, if it disappeared tomorrow a replacement would spring up within a few weeks if the world really needed a way to shotgun their messages into the ether.
So, you know, there's that.
You may be browsing from localhost but the rest of us has to download this HTML...
If Twitter starting taking massive cash payments from governments to filter content, it would be a strong Twitter with lots of cash, but not a strong tool to fight against anything.
But is it the best because it is better than the alternatives we would have without it is, or is it the best because its dominance in messaging prevents better tools (in terms of "the fight against censorship and ... control") from being developed or gaining traction and critical mass -- e.g., is the goal you point to really being served by a strong Twitter, or held back by it?
Everyone wants to make the world a better place
Also interesting to note that over the past year insiders have only bought 1.5m shares while offloading 12.5m.
You might have a point if rich people's investment vehicles (like hedge funds, private equity or venture funds) owned the majority of TWTR - but they don't, as you showed.
And what happens if those asset managers lose money year after year or don't keep up with others?
When you're the CEO of twitter, yes. You're not going to say anything else.
Many could certainly clone the Twitter service in under a weekend, and since nobody would be using it, it would certainly appear they did a good job.
What you couldn't do in a weekend is provide something to operate at the scale Twitter does, such that it could be dropped in to replace (or handle all the traffic if Twitter ceased to exist).
There are some things where the combination of public, easy to use, short, sms friendly are a big plus for some things. Not that twitter is the only one doing these things or that they couldn't be built on ICR.
I often wonder whether these "layoffs" aren't actually layoffs, but simply performance based assessments. It's not like Twitter is shutting down an entire office, or abandoning some technology, and letting everyone associated with that office/technology go - presumably they are being selective on other factors as to who they let go - and I'm guessing that performance is likely a key factor.
If, over the next year, twitter doesn't hire back that 10%, or hires employees in different technologies/positions (I.E. Web developers instead of thick client developers, sales people instead of developers, etc...) - then this is a layoff. But, if headcount returns to the same number, in roughly the same job areas, then this is just a performance based annual rank/yank process.
Any layoff is going to be a morale hit, and they're likely to lose some very talented people in the aftershocks. The last company I worked for laid off 25% of the employees, and within a few months another 10% had been poached or found other places to work (myself included).
A friend even tried to fire a guy for bad performance and high management told him to wait for the next "annual layoff", that it would be easier.
A good indication will be if any developers/marketing/sales, etc.. working on core Twitter/Vine/Periscope/Moments teams are let go.
Same thing at Loudcloud, 1/3 of the company that had revenue bearing jobs went to EDS, 1/3 of the back-end developers went to Opsware, and then the other 1/3 (including everyone in the field, all the service delivery/sales teams/support) - were just let go, with very little attention to how good they were.
The difference between these types of these "real" layoffs, and "faux" layoffs, is that in "real layoffs" - companies will try and fight to hold onto the top 5%, but the bottom 95% are let go. In the "faux" layoffs, the bottom 5-10% are let go, but the top 90% are basically okay.
Of course, the reality is that it's never totally black and white, and any real world reductions-in-force are is likely to be some combination of these two, which is why I like the term "Reduction in Force" rather than "Layoffs" - though there are probably some legal reasons why companies use the exact word "layoffs"
Restructures happen all the time, especially at dotcoms. If you work in this industry, then you can expect some level of volatility.
Clearly you're missing @Pinboard from your life.
Bart might disagree:
Whenever you have a large layoff, it is fairly standard to lock accounts immediately.
But the opposite should also be true. Don't scream 'disloyalty' when a employee wants to leave on a short notice.
And FWIW, I tend to agree with your comment regarding loyalty -- that ship sailed long ago, 1980s, possibly 1970s.
In many places (in the world) you are expected to for months after you are laid off. In many european contries, layoffs must be announced a long time before they happen (a maximum number but not specific jobs).
In any event, you are expected to be loyal to the employer.
Pulling your repo access without notification isn't exactly what most people would view as, "parting ways with 'the utmost respect for each and every person'".
Why does this seem so foreign? Why would repo access still be needed?
Why would repo access be terminated without prior notification?
The only topic here is how this behavior deviates from how Twitter claimed it would handle itself.
It's true that layoffs are (even more) difficult and complex in the case of a remote employee, but this doesn't mean that we should see something appalling and simply throw up our hands and say "what were they supposed to do". We solve complex, difficult problems every day -- when the solutions are valuable to us. This is a demonstration that treating their employees with respect is not valuable to Twitter.
Also, I could imagine it being frustrating trying to figure out why your access has been revoked for two hours until some company rep calls you to tell you that you are no longer wanted.
"Up to 336". The fact that phrase made it into the email is unbelievable. Who, being at the head of a company so large, writes with that kind of language?
That Moments is mentioned so high up in the email isn't particularly reassuring...since it means they haven't launched many other initiatives of note recently. Moments as a feature is extremely disappointing given the years of interesting discoveries that Twitter has yielded algorithmically via its, well, "Discover" tab. What's on Moments looks like a half-baked newspaper front page except when you click on an item, you go to tweets about that item instead of a full story.
I don't want to pile on the project as it is new...but it should've been given more thought and design time given how much prominence "Moments" has on the interface (it is one of four main icons on the menubar)...Nearly all of the stories are hours old...e.g. "Wave of terror attacks hits Jerusalem" and "Playboy covers up"..."FedEx truck splits in two", granted, is news to me...but not something that makes Twitter unique to me.
There's so much more potential in the Trends section...OK, maybe Twitter wants to filter out potentially visually NSFW topics like #NoBraDay...but things like #MH17 and #VMworld and #ILoveYouAboutAsMuchAs...just show me an automated feed of tweets by reputable sources (rather than spambots or random kids) so I can understand why these topics are suddenly trending without having to click through the trends tag and sort through a overwhelming timeline.
edit: that said, I like all the other products...besides core Twitter, Vine and Periscope are standouts (at least, as a consumer)...I just think that "Moments" isn't worth putting into the spotlight, unless there is literally nothing else to be proud of publicly.
How? When I click on it, it just peaks at the next picture.
Moments is a glorified image slider.
Here is the "moment" for "Wave of terror attacks hits Jerusalem"...there's only about 10 tweets there:
And here's a Twitter search for "terror attacks jerusalem"
Though Fox News may not be everyone's choice of top news source, scrolling down, you'll see a great variety of tweets...maybe not as efficiently informative as the curated tweets, but I'm sure a hell of a lot more expansive and scalable.
While writing this comment, I came across this verge article  which says "For now, the tab is shown only to US Twitter users" - so if anyone else is wondering, US only. Meh.
Well, since you said it that way, I should assume that what comes next will not sound like a steamy pile of meandering corporate speak, right?
> The team has been working around the clock to produce streamlined roadmap for Twitter, Vine, and Periscope and they are shaping up to be strong. The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact.
A roadmap focused on high-impact experiences. Got it. I hope your firings go really well, Bob.
No, it's really not.
Only on HN. <eyeroll>
Of course, given his buzzword-filled talk, those "generous exit packages" might just consist of two weeks pay as well.
Let's not get carried away here. Twitter is great. I use it too much of the day. But the world hardly needs Twitter.
I think he strikes a good tone in both emphasizing the importance of the work they are doing at Twitter, and how they need to do better. I think less than perfect objectivity can be forgiven.
The benefit of any place or tool for social activities is only tangentially related to the benefits provided by that place or tool. The value is the people that are using it, who can (and do) move all the time.
Anybody interested in the relationship between a service like twitter and the people that create it's value by using it may be interested in the talk given by an admin o fark.com a few years ago, where they discuss how they almost destroyed their community ("you'll get over it") from a failure to remember why people came to their site.
If there is one lesson that Twitter or any other social media business needs to learn, it's the one discussed in talk: involve the people that use your service at least somewhat in the changes you make to the service, and absolutely don't surprise them with sudden change, or they will find some other place to hang out.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnVeysllPDI (language warning, if that matters (it's veyr mild))
Hmm, the world needs networked communication; the specific protocol running at the endpoints isn't particularly important. TCP/IP was used because... it was already used by the people involved.
Further, the world needs easy communication; the specific mechanism to communicate isn't particularly important. Networking was used because... it was already used by the people involved.
LOL, sure as hell. Twitter was blocked in most of these countries (and Turkey too). The outcry was huge, but guess what... They 'survived'.
Twitter is just a medium. The preferred medium for some. There are countless alternatives nowadays, no one needs twitter.
Seems like what's really "needed" is a distributed Twitter-like platform, using a DHT or something. Keep it small and simple enough, and a client could run on many devices 24/7, updating every a few times an hour, or more if the user's actively using it.
User identity might be the hard part, because a long hash isn't very human-friendly. But perhaps that could be solved by a centralized directory authority mapping user ID hashes to Twitter-like usernames. The mappings could be cached by clients in case the directory went down or got blocked. Sort of like how PGP keyservers work, letting clients get keys when they need them and add them to their local keyring.
No, you can set up endless blogs (using Wordpress or Joomla or any other CMS with Twitter plugins), and include a twitter stream in it. You can post to twitter by email or using similar plugins.
A government cannot block all those sites.
Blocking twitter is not enough to block all content coming from and going to twitter.
But then the users have to do the same thing, preemptively finding such proxies and jumping between them. I'd guess that that would be a good enough result from the government's perspective.
And that's just read-only stuff. Post by email? DPI could drop packets containing emails addressed to Twitter, even if they're being sent through a mail server in another country. And, sure, you can proxy stuff, but again, the point here is the masses. If 95% of people are blocked from access, that would probably prevent mass protests from happening; or at least keep them from happening quickly and unexpectedly.
But besides all that, when the government cuts off the country's Internet access entirely, creating a nationwide intranet, none of those blog proxies are going to help. The only thing that is going to truly work in such a situation is peer-to-peer stuff.
This is why it is so important to create protocols for communication instead of single-point-of-failure services. While it is still possible for bad actors to interfere with traffic, it is much harder to shutdown an entire network of federated servers. In contrast, a service can be disabled by simply throwing legal papers at the person running the service (or otherwise threaten them, bribe them, etc).
> DPI could drop packets containing emails addressed
Which is why that email should have been encrypted. Even non-authenticated opportunistic encryption would make that kind of DPI much harder and more expensive.
We've had encryption for a long time, and there is absolutely no excuse for to not have encryption in all network software. Unfortunately, a lot of software has been badly negligent in their duty to keep their users safe.
> cuts off the country's Internet access entirely
...they should be left with a split network, still able to communicate internally. It is pure hubris to believe that a single service will always be available in any situation; when international links are involved, some amount of loss-of-service should be assumed. This is why email allows multiple MX records - servers fail, so build in backups, some of which can be local.
> peer-to-peer stuff
Yes, though the model to copy is federated services like email.
The power of the internet is that it IS peer-to-peer. No 3rd party has to grant authorization to listen(2) for connections or connect(2) to a remove host. This has been forgotten because of the damage that NAT does to the network (you aren't a full citizen ("peer") on the internet when you have to ask the NAT device to forward your packets.)
Now, after about a decade of failing to heed the warnings about NAT, the digital imprimatur is being constructed and running proper peer to peer (no 23rd party) is harder than ever. Hopefully IPv6 can reverse this trend.
> Yes, though the model to copy is federated services like email.
I disagree. For one thing, DNS. How many average users will be able to reconfigure their systems to use a DNS server besides the one their ISP provides? And when the national government cuts off the nation's external Internet access, what good will 126.96.36.199 be?
It seems obvious to me that, for this kind of use-case, peer-to-peer, DHT-type services are what's needed. Federated is better than centralized, but it would still be easy to censor and block. Even P2P protocols could be blocked by ISPs blocking inbound connections to their customers, but barring that, it would be difficult.
Twitter is a news source not a newspaper.
While I agree, I also hate this. A Twitter trend can inspire good journalism, but it is not in and of itself journalism. Too many media sources slap a tweet on TV or on a website and call it journalism.
Twitter simply connects the event's with the journalists :)
"Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to
give it to you straight."
"So we have made an extremely tough decision: we plan to part ways with
up to 336 people from across the company."
It's more like "our incompetence has forced us to fire you but of course we, the incompetent ones, will stay; think of this as your opportunity to find a better company without incompetent management, good luck with that".
None of the people who got fired are like "OMG... Jack is such a great guy for firing us without so much fluff"
If anything is just good for him, and press, just for him, if anything his message basically say "We want a strong twitter and you are weak".
Corporate speak usually refers to deliberately obfuscatory language, and I see none of that in what he wrote.
Often the process then more broadly resembles a farce, with managers trying to protect their mini-empires by sabotaging others. Giving an explicit number seems to indicate that Twitter has a clear idea of exactly what they're trying to do here.
Later on in that job they handled it even worse, with a gradual attrician over several weeks of people suddenly finding out they no longer has a job, and would be paid their notice period. No idea how things went from there, since that was when I jumped ship.
(And hello! I still find it a bit odd when I see people I know commenting on Hacker News.)