At Twitter it apparently pays off to work long hours.
Just ask Esther Crawford, director of product management at Twitter.
In November, Crawford shared a photo of herself sleeping on the floor at Twitter’s headquarters, wrapped in a silver sleeping bag and wearing an eye mask.
“If your team is pushing around the clock to meet deadlines, sometimes it’s you #SleepWhereYouWorkshe tweeted.
— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) November 2, 2022
Musk recently took over as CEO, and there were reports of employees working 12-hour days or more.
Crawford’s photo went viral, with many criticizing the sleepless San Francisco Twitter worker for perpetuating what they saw as a toxic workplace. Some even joked that she would be out of work in a week, so why bother?
But now it seems Crawford has the last laugh. A story in the Financial times reports that since the sleeping bag incident, Crawford has become “one of the most influential leaders left of the old guard,” according to former and current Twitter employees.
Related: Photo Reveals Overworked Twitter Employee Sleeping on Office Floor: ‘Pushing Round the Clock’
A chance encounter with Musk
Before Musk took over Twitter, Crawford, 39, was a mid-level employee, but that changed in part because of the Twitter photo and also thanks to a chance encounter with Musk at Twitter’s coffee shop The Perch.
Sources told FT that Crawford introduced himself to Musk and arranged a one-on-one meeting with him to discuss payment and makers. The move enraged many senior leaders as it went over their heads.
But Musk must have loved what he heard. Crawford has since helped launch Twitter Blue, which charges users $8 for a premium subscription service with verified blue tick status.
She was recently named chief executive of Twitter Payments, and insiders say she’s part of Musk’s inner circle on Twitter — one of only a handful of women in the position.
A polarizing figure
Crawford is loved or loathed around the Twitter office.
“For some insiders, Crawford has the charismatic energy needed to help transform Twitter’s teetering business,” he said. FT. “To other former employees, she is vilified as a flatterer and opportunist.”
Crawford is known for her high energy and her self-empowering posts on Twitter.
If you’re proactively chasing your dreams, it’s harder to be subconsciously driven by your fears.
— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) January 6, 2023
Crawford joined Twitter in 2020. Before that, she was a YouTube video blogger.
She has posted about growing up in a fanatical cult. She also said her family was poor and on welfare.
I grew up in a cult. We had a lot of rules (no haircut, no makeup, no pants, no TV, no secular music, etc.) and hierarchical leadership. We believed it was the “end times” so I lived in fear of doing something wrong and being left behind. When I was 19 I left on my own. https://t.co/t6u7VlJE0T pic.twitter.com/0EzfqBICbA
— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) April 16, 2022
Neither Crawford nor Musk responded FT for comment. But in a recent tweet, Crawford created a poll asking whether it’s better to appear in the media with false information about you and a great photo or with truthful information and a bad photo.
Imagine appearing in the media. What would you rather do:
1) the information is correct and you sound great, but it has a really horrible picture of you on it
2) the info is wrong & you come across negative, but you look great in the picture
Pick one – you can’t have both. ?
— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) January 20, 2023
The public voted for “accurate and positive information”.