Saying that more people were preparing the food than eating it, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has ended free meals for employees at the social media company's San Francisco headquarters.
The New York Times had first reported that Musk was ending free breakfast and lunch for employees.
After a post on Twitter accused Musk of starving his employees, he responded on Sunday that so few people came to the office that the cost of each lunch had risen to $400 per meal.
Tracy Hawkins, a former Twitter employee, said Musk's contention was a “lie.”
“I ran this program up until a week ago when I resigned because I didn’t want to work for [Mr. Musk],” Hawkins wrote in her reply to Twitter’s new owner. “For breakfast & lunch we spent $20-$25 a day per person. This enabled employees to work through lunchtime & [meetings]. Attendance was anything from 20-50% in the offices.”
Musk responded by saying Hawkins’ assertion was false.
Twitter spends $13 million per year on food service for the San Francisco office, Musk said, adding that records showed peak occupancy at the San Fran office has been 25%, and the average occupancy was below 10%.
“There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast,” Musk wrote. “They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building.”
Roughly 50% of Twitter employees were laid off and multiple executives were let go “for cause” to avoid hefty severance payments after Musk took over the company.
Musk told employees in their first staff meeting last week that all workers are required to return to the office or “resignation accepted,” according to tech news site The Verge.
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