Elon Musk's former Twitter lieutenant, who famously slept on the floor, hints that he's 'destroying' his own product by rebranding it 'X'

A composite of Elon Musk looking to the right while wearing a suit and tie next to Esther Crawford wearing a black dress while standing in front of a large Twitter logo.
Elon Musk and Esther Crawford, Twitter's former product head.Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP via Getty Images; Courtesy of Robert Cowherd
  • Esther Crawford appeared to poke fun at Elon Musk's new name for Twitter in a post on Sunday.

  • The former manager appeared to compare the "X" branding change to a form of ritualistic suicide.

  • Crawford was a top lieutenant to Musk and slept at Twitter's headquarters before she was laid off.

Esther Crawford, Elon Musk's former lieutenant at Twitter, appeared to take a jab at the billionaire over the weekend after he announced plans to change the product's name to "X."

"Corporate seppuku: destroying your own product or brand," Crawford posted on X — formerly Twitter — on Sunday.

Seppuku is an ancient form of ritualistic suicide in Japanese culture. The process involves stabbing oneself in the stomach with a sword and could be voluntary or obligatory, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, which says that the process was used often by warriors who had been defeated in battle and "chose to avoid the dishonor of falling into the hands of the enemy." Crawford included a sketch of a warrior appearing to follow the ritual in her post.

Crawford and a spokesperson for X did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

"Usually committed by new management in pursuit of cost-savings due to a lack of understanding about the core business or disregard for the customer experience," Crawford wrote, likely referencing the thousands of Twitter staffers Musk fired shortly after taking the social-media app private last year. The billionaire has cut the company's workforce in half since taking over.

"The result is a massive loss of shareholder value," she said of the missteps new management could take.

As of May, Twitter was worth about a third of what Musk paid for it in October, according to Fidelity. Since the billionaire took over, dozens of major advertisers have fled the site. Earlier this month, Musk acknowledged the company was losing money because of its "heavy debt" and drop in advertising revenue.

Crawford was an early supporter of Musk when he took over the social-media company. Last year, the former manager made headlines after a photo of her sleeping at Twitter's headquarters went viral as Musk touted his "hardcore" work culture.

The Twitter manager worked at the company for more than two years after it acquired her startup, Squad, in 2020, according to her LinkedIn page. After Musk purchased Twitter in October, she was identified as one of his top lieutenants and was put in charge of the company's new subscription service, Twitter Blue, before she was laid off in February. Since then, she has said she's taking a career break and has gone on to travel the world.

Crawford is one of many to poke fun at the social-media platform's name change. Even former Jack Dorsey, a cofounder of Twitter, appeared somewhat confused by X. The company flashed its new logo on the exterior of its headquarters on Sunday night and has already begun to change some of the branding images on the site. Musk has long had an affinity for the letter "X" and has talked of creating an X "everything app" in the past.

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