Elon Musk held a Q&A with Twitter staff, laying out a vision for a billion-user platform, but hesitant about potential layoffs, limits on free speech and the following its chaotic takeover bid
- Mr. Musk did not offer Twitter employees guarantees about their job security or their ability to work from home
- He said he wanted 1 billion users on the social media platform
- SpaceX employees say Mr Musk’s behavior is ‘a distraction and an annoyance’
While answering questions during his first meeting with suspicious staffers on Thursday, the Tesla chief offered no update on his $44 billion ($62.4 billion) deal.
Yet in comments from the virtual employee-only meeting that lasted less than an hour, leaked Bloomberg and New York Times reports echoed his claimed passion for self-expression on the platform.
And said he wanted to have “at least a billion people on Twitter” – a massive increase from the platform’s current 229 million users.
He has previously commented on how he would lead the platform – including lifting the ban on former US President Donald Trump – but his words this time were aimed directly at workers’ concerns.
Mr. Musk told Twitter employees that he personally favors moderate political positions, but that users should be able to say outrageous things, according to information leaked at the meeting.
He qualified this by saying that freedom of speech did not mean inherent freedom for comments to be broadcast very far.
Mr Musk responded to a question about possible layoffs by saying the company needed to “get back to good health” when it comes to its financial situation.
He endorsed advertising and subscriptions as ways for Twitter to make money, saying ads should be both entertaining and legitimate.
And he again talked about charging to verify accounts and making verification a factor in which tweets rank higher on the platform.
Regarding Twitter’s policy of letting people work from home, Mr. Musk said that would only be an option for those who have proven to be exceptional at their jobs, he reportedly told the rally.
Market not convinced
Mr. Musk shocked the tech world in April with his unsolicited bid to buy Twitter.
The board eventually agreed to back his offer of US$54.20 per share. However, he has since cast doubt on the deal, clashing with company leadership over user numbers.
Mr. Musk updated employees and Wall Street on the end of the takeover saga.
Information from his meeting with staff appeared to leave the stock market skeptical of the takeover, with Twitter shares slipping more than 2% in midday trading – well below the purchase price Mr Musk agreed to.
And the proposed sale is being resisted by critics who warn that Mr. Musk’s management would embolden hate groups and disinformation campaigns.
US securities regulators have also pressed Mr Musk to explain the apparent delay in reporting his stock purchases on Twitter.
For his part, Mr. Musk has repeatedly raised questions about fake accounts on the platform, saying on Twitter that he may back out of the deal if his concerns are not addressed.
Musk a ‘distraction and embarrassment’, say SpaceX employees
A group of SpaceX employees derided their flamboyant billionaire CEO as a “distraction and an annoyance” in an internal letter to executives.
Mr. Musk has made headlines and late-night comedic monologues in recent months for his quest to buy Twitter, a reported allegation of sexual harassment that Musk has denied, as well as rude comments online and an incursion. in political discourse.
“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere has been a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” reads the letter, which does not point to any particular controversy.
Reuters received a copy of the letter.
“As CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is considered the face of SpaceX – every tweet sent by Elon is a de facto public statement by the company,” the letter added.
The open letter, reported earlier by The Verge, was written by SpaceX employees in recent weeks and shared as an attachment in an internal “Monale Boosters” group chat, which contains thousands of employees, according to a person familiar with. folder.
In a list of three demands, the letter says, “SpaceX must quickly and explicitly part ways with Elon’s personal brand.”
He adds, “Hold all leaders equally accountable for making SpaceX a great place to work for everyone” and “identify and respond uniformly to all forms of unacceptable behavior.”
It was unclear who authored the letter or how many employees had been involved in drafting it.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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