One in all Musk’s Top Twitter Lieutenants ‘Grew up in a Cult’

  • Esther Crawford, a frontrunner at Elon Musk’s Twitter, said on social media that she “grew up in a cult.”
  • Crawford has turn into a key player in Musk’s takeover and went viral for sleeping within the office.
  • Some staff describer her as “bootlicking,” while other say she’s helped guide Musk.

Esther Crawford, considered one of Elon Musk’s top lieutenants at Twitter, “grew up in a cult.”

Before the billionaire bought Twitter in October, Crawford tweeted concerning the experience, saying it taught her loads, including the importance of fixing your mind when presented with latest facts.

“We had numerous rules (cannot cut hair, no makeup, no pants, no television, no secular music, etc) and hierarchical leadership,” Crawford wrote in a tweet on April 16, 2022. “We believed it was the ‘end times’ so I lived in fear of doing anything improper & being left behind. I exited by myself after I was 19.”

She also shared a photograph of herself growing up and with a current picture.

Crawford and a spokesperson for Twitter didn’t reply to requests for comment from Insider ahead of publication.

While Crawford didn’t specify exactly what “cult” she grew up in, she did say in an earlier tweet that it was a “very small/insular community” and a sect Christianity.

The Financial Times was the primary to report on Crawford’s history. She went on to get a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Oregon State University, and a master’s in diplomacy and national securities studies at Durham University, per her LinkedIn. 

Crawford worked at a startup in Silicon Valley that was acquired by Twitter in 2020, her LinkedIn profile shows. She also was a social media strategist for Weight Watchers between 2007 to 2012.

At Twitter, she serves because the director of product management and has quickly turn into considered one of Musk’s top executives at the corporate. She first garnered public attention within the weeks after Musk took over the corporate when an image of her sleeping within the office went viral. Since, she has survived multiple rounds of layoffs on the social media company.

While Crawford appears to have made a positive impression on Musk, a few of her coworkers are less impressed.  One current worker, who preferred to stay anonymous, told the Financial Times that “the sleeping bag incident really bothered people.”

A former staffer who said Crawford was “bootlicking” told the publication that “she was willing to sell her soul for her 15 mins of fame.”

The FT reported that Crawford introduced herself to Musk on his first day within the office and arrange a one-on-one meeting with the billionaire — a move she was later scolded for by a more senior worker.

Meanwhile, other current and former employees told the FT that Crawford is “diplomatic and empathetic” and has played a vital role in guiding Musk, including by helping smooth tensions with Apple after the billionaire declared “war” on the tech giant and helping temper him behind the scenes.

Read the complete story on the FT’s website.

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