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Ex-Twitter Blue Chief Speaks Out About Musk’s Impulsive Management Style

Former head of Twitter Blue, Esther Crawford, openly discusses Elon Musk's unpredictable management style and the challenges it posed while working under his leadership at the social network X (formerly Twitter).

Esther Crawford Reveals Musk’s Chaotic Leadership at X

Esther Crawford, ex-chief of Twitter Blue, has opened up about her experiences under the old and new management at X (formerly known as Twitter), including Elon Musk's unpredictable leadership style, and her viral moment of sleeping on the office floor.

Crawford, who joined Twitter in 2020 after the acquisition of her social startup Squad, criticized the old management as bureaucratic, stating that one needed to navigate like a politician to get things done. She described the company culture as bloated, entitled, and resistant to healthy debate and criticism.

She highlighted an incident where a colleague had to navigate numerous approval levels just to reach out to some creators, resulting in employee burnout. She also criticized the company leadership during the Musk acquisition process for evading questions about the future of the social network by "hiding behind lawyers and legal language."

When Elon Musk took over Twitter, Crawford admitted to being "cautiously optimistic," aware that Musk would likely make both smart and questionable decisions. She noted the sudden and frequent changes in Musk's mood and the lack of psychological safety at Twitter 2.0, leading to a climate of fear among the employees.

Crawford pointed out that Musk seemed to follow his gut instinct or the advice of outside contacts more than that of his internal team. She identified Musk's lack of process and empathy as major downsides, and suggested that Musk's work-centric lifestyle and the echo chamber of yes-men surrounding him could be detrimental.

In November, Crawford became a talking point when a picture of her sleeping in the office, tweeted by a co-worker, went viral. She clarified that this incident was the result of her team trying to meet a tough deadline.

Despite her criticisms, Crawford would not bet against Musk due to his intelligence and financial resources.