The fired Twitter executive who went viral for sleeping on the office floor last year has broken her silence on mercurial boss Elon Musk — describing him as a brilliant but cold leader with a “painful” lack of empathy.
Esther Crawford, whose rapid rise and fall from Musk’s good graces drew intense scrutiny over the last year, gave her most detailed account yet of the bizarre experience in a nearly 15-minute video posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“I learned a ton from watching Elon up close — the good, the bad and the ugly. His boldness, passion and storytelling is inspiring, but his lack of process and empathy is painful,” Crawford said.
“Elon has an exceptional talent for tackling hard physics-based problems but products that facilitate human connection and communication require a different type of social-emotional intelligence,” she added.
A holdover from the firm’s previous regime, Crawford survived Musk’s initial purge of the company ranks after he purchased the social media platform for $44 billion last October and rose to oversee its critical overhaul of the “Twitter Blue” subscription service.
Crawford reportedly ran afoul of some employees during her rapid ascent by vocally buying into Musk’s demand for a “hardcore” work culture.
That included the now-infamous image of her wrapped in a sleeping bag and wearing a sleeping mask while wedged between a table and some office chairs at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.
But despite buying into Musk’s plans for his recently rebranded site, Crawford was fired in February as the Tesla boss continued cleaning house.
Crawford appears to admire elements of Musk’s personality, referring to him as “oddly charming” and “genuinely funny” despite “personality [quirks] like telling the same stories and jokes over and over.”
At the same time, Crawford shared a “cautionary tale” for individuals intent on achieving the billionaire’s level of success.
“Money and fame can create psychological prisons which may worsen mental health conditions,” Crawford said. “We’ve all seen high-profile cases of celebrities who end up with some combination of depression, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, mania and/or erratic behavior.”
“Living in an echo chamber is dangerous and being at the top makes a person even more susceptible to being surrounded by yes people when nearly everyone around you is on the payroll and somehow stands to benefit from being in your orbit,” she added.
In the 15-minute video, Crawford provided the “real story” behind the viral photo that catapulted her into the spotlight last November.
“I was given a nearly impossible deadline for his first project and as the product lead I would never ask anyone to do anything I wasn’t willing to do myself,” Crawford said. “So I worked round the clock alongside an amazing team spanning many time zones, and we delivered it on schedule — truly against the odds. It was intense but also fun.”
Crawford described her viral infamy after the photo surfaced as an “odd and interesting experience.”
“I was attacked by people on the left and called a billionaire bootlicker, while simultaneously being attacked by people on the right for being a working mom who was demonized as an example of a woman choosing her career over her family,” Crawford said.
Musk’s erratic leadership of the company entered a new phase this week after he abandoned the company’s blue bird logo and changed its name to X.
The move raised eyebrows among market experts and sparked comparisons to the Coca-Cola Company’s “New Coke” rebrand blunder in the 1980s.
Crawford signaled she is taking a wait-and-see approach to Musk’s rebrand.
“I disagree with many of his decisions and am surprised by his willingness to burn so much down, but with enough money and time, something new and innovative may emerge,” Crawford said.
“Perhaps X becomes a resounding success or it fails epically. Either way, I expect it will continue to be a very entertaining ride.”
Source by [New York Post]