Dozens of employees of HMV, the bankrupt British music retailer, have been fired. News of the layoffs was first leaked on Twitter, appearing on HMV's official Twitter account (@hmvtweets) by a rogue Tweeter. The posts, which have since been removed, gave a blow-by-blow account of what was happening as the employees were being let go.
The first of the tweets, reportedly posted by a disgruntled HMV employee who was among the casualties, appeared about 2:30 p.m. London time: "There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand."
Then: "We're tweeting live from HR where we're all being fired! Exciting!!" Other tweets soon followed, but were taken down nearly as quickly as they were put up. The tweeter then wrote: "Just overheard our Marketing Director (he's staying, folks) ask 'How do I shut down Twitter?' "
That prompted one follower to tweet:
Today's lesson in social media: always make sure to revoke account access before firing the social media manager twitter.com/BradBrisco/sta...- Brad (@BradBrisco) January 31, 2013
The tweets are believe to have been posted by Ewan Pinder, HMV's (now former) head of technology and games, mcvuk.com reported. From Pinder's Twitter feed:
Yes that's it! First batch now gone and questions being fielded. Clearly very upsetting and unhappy!- Ewan Pinder (@EwanPinder) January 31, 2013
HMV's site had been dormant since Jan. 14, when the chain announced a further markdown on sale items, offering "25 percent off thousands of products throughout the store."
Attempts to reach HMV to confirm the firings were unsuccessful. The company administrator, Deloitte, confirmed that 190 layoffs were made at HMV's headquarters and distribution network, The Independent reported. No layoffs took place in stores, the administrators said.
It's unusual for employees to tweet about mass layoffs as they happen. It's more often the case that workers lose their jobs after they post inappropriate statements or images on Twitter, Facebook or other social networks.
Last Spring, the chief financial officer at boutique clothing chain Francesca Holdings was ousted after he posted comments on Facebook and Twitter that the company found objectionable. More recently, a television meteorologist was fired after she took to Facebook to defend her short, cropped hair, after viewers made disparaging remarks about the look.
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