Elon Musk apoligized to former Twitter employee Haraldur Thorleifsson for mocking his disablility. The micro-blogging website’s CEO and Thorleifsson, who goes by ‘Halli’, first interacted via tweets before the former decided to video call him.
Halli first posted his grievance on Twitter, saying he lost his work computer access nine days prior and did not know if he was still employed.
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“However your head of HR is not able to confirm if I am an employee or not. You’ve not answered my emails. Maybe if enough people retweet you’ll answer me here?” he wrote.
“What work have you been doing?” Musk responded to his tweet.
“If you have your lawyers share in writing that I can do that then I’d be happy to discuss that openly!” Halli then said.
“It’s approved, you go ahead” Musk tweeted.
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Halli then spoke about his responsibilities, adding that he hired designers, helped the company to appeal to younger users, and led projects to “level up design across the company.”
As the two spoke via tweets, Musk took a jibe at Halli’s disability.
“The reality is that this guy (who is independently wealthy) did no actual work, claimed as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet was simultaneously tweeting up a storm.” Musk wrote. “Can’t say I have a lot of respect for that.”
They then had a video call and Musk apologized.
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Who is Haraldur Thorleifsson?
Haraldur Ingi Orleifsson, an Icelandic investor, philanthropist, creative designer and entrepreneur, was born in 1997. The 2019 Icelandic Businessman of the Year, he founded the firm Ueno and sold it to Twitter in 2021. He then continued to work for Twitter until 2023.
Thorleifsson is a father two.
Haraldur was born with dysferlinopathy, a genetic muscular dystrophy disease that forced him to use a wheelchair by the age of 25. Orleifur Gunnlaugsson and Anna Jónsdóttir were his parents. In a car accident caused by a drunk driver in 1988, his mother was killed and his stepfather, actor Jóhann Sigurarson, was seriously injured.
Haraldur established Ueno, a provider of innovative technology services, in 2014. The Icelandic Association of Business and Economists dubbed him Iceland’s businessman of the year in 2019.
As per his LinkedIn profile, he served as a director at Twitter based in Reykjavik, Iceland.