Elon Musk is facing backlash after he posed for a photo with the fake employees who claimed he had fired them from the social media platform.
The billionaire has sacked most of the company’s top executives and half of its staff overall since he completed his chaotic $44bn takeover last month.
The pair told the media their names were “Rahul Ligma” and “Daniel Johnson”, before it emerged the pair had never worked at the company.
The name “Ligma” is a fake disease reportedly used in a joke that is meant to get a crude reply.
Mr Musk praised the prank at the time as “one of the best trolls ever.”
And now the billionaire has tweeted a photo of himself with the pranksters, who wore name tags reading “Rahul” and “Daniel.”
“Welcoming back Ligma & Johnson!” tweeted Mr Musk, the world’s richest person.
And he added: “Important to admit when I’m wrong & firing them was truly one of my biggest mistakes.”
But the insensitive joke fell flat for some Twitter users, who slammed the entrepreneur for the joke when thousands of employees had lost their jobs.
“Making fun of firing people while you fire people tells us all exactly what kind of boss you are,” one user tweeted.
And another added: “You really have nothing better to do with your time?”
“Is it just me who finds this ‘bit’ a little creepy and uncool given the actual 7000+ people you did fire in the last couple of weeks? Feels Ike you’re mocking people you’ve fired. Certainly it’s not going to make Bay Area technologists more keen to work with you,” tweeted another.