After a contentious exchange on March 7, Elon Musk has walked back some of his comments regarding Haraldur Þorleifsson, better known as Halli, a 45-year-old designer and founder of digital design company Ueno, voted “Icelandic person of the year 2022” by the readers of mbl.is. The exchange followed Halli’s termination at Twitter: after he was locked out of his work accounts, Halli was unable to get a clear statement from Twitter HR about the status of his employment. He opted instead to contact Mr. Musk directly over social media. In the ensuing thread, Mr. Musk cast doubt on Halli’s disability, and accused Halli of not working. However, Mr. Musk has subsequently walked back some of his statements, with a partial apology, by stating: “I would like to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding of his situation. It was based on things I was told that were untrue or, in some cases, true, but not meaningful. He is considering remaining at Twitter.” Haraldur Þorleifsson sold his company to Twitter in 2021 and, while not all details of the Ueno sale were made public, it is known that he purposely chose to receive the sale price as wages, in order to pay higher tax on it in Iceland. Likely due to this arrangement, Halli was reportedly on a “do not fire list”: if Halli is indeed terminated, Twitter is likely still obligated to pay him out.
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