Elon Musk’s bodyguards follow him around the office—even to the restroom, Twitter employee says

March 7, 2023, 12:30 PM UTC
Elon Musk reportedly takes bodyguards to work at Twitter.
Marlena Sloss/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Elon Musk brings bodyguards to work at Twitter, an employee has alleged, and they even follow him to the restroom.  

During an investigation by the BBC’s Panorama program, a Twitter staff member told the broadcaster that Musk did not appear to trust employees.

He argued that this is evident in the level of personal security Musk, who is acting Twitter CEO, brings with him to the office.

According to the employee—who still works at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco and spoke to the BBC under the condition of anonymity—Musk is always accompanied to work by multiple bodyguards.

“Wherever he goes in the office, there are at least two bodyguards—very bulky, tall, Hollywood movie [style] bodyguards,” he said. “Even when [he goes] to the restroom.”

Representatives for Twitter and Musk did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

The same employee—one of many current and former Twitter staffers interviewed by Panorama—also alleged that Tesla engineers were being brought in to evaluate Twitter engineers’ coding. The evaluations, which would take a few days, were being used to decide who to fire, the employee claimed, despite the complex code requiring months before it could be understood.

He said this also gave him the sense that Musk did not trust his workforce at Twitter.

Reports of resentment

Since Musk took over the company in late 2022, reports have swirled around resentment within the company’s walls toward his swiftly implemented policies and practices.

While many Twitter workers were forced out by mass layoffs and other terminations, others left voluntarily as the social media giant made major changes to its corporate culture.

The billionaire has also been accused of firing employees who criticized him.

Toward the end of last year, Twitter’s head of trust and safety Yoel Roth—who is no longer working at the company—said the company’s workforce had halved in size.

Hundreds of staffers reportedly resigned from Twitter after CEO Musk demanded employees commit to “extremely hardcore” working practices including “long hours at high intensity.” Musk confirmed in December that he had installed beds at Twitter HQ.

Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter has also made a series of controversial changes including a reversal of its “Work from Anywhere” policy, requiring engineers to give weekly updates on their work, and cutting back on employee allowances for things like childcare.

The changes have led former and remaining employees to label Musk’s so-called Twitter 2.0 a “toxic” workplace with a “cutthroat culture,” with workers warning would-be hires to “stay away” from the company, Business Insider reported in December.

Some tech companies have reportedly taken advantage of Musk’s high-profile culture overhaul, and have attempted to poach Twitter staff with promises of a workplace more like the one that existed at the company in its pre-Musk era.  

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