Elon Musk, who interacted directly with Twitter Inc. employees for the first time since signing a $44 billion deal to take over the social network, told staffers not to worry about changes in their jobs once he it takes over – as long as their work is “exceptional”, ie.
At an all-party meeting Thursday, Musk sparked a flurry of snap, frustrated and concerned commentary on internal bulletin boards with his comments on various topics, including potential layoff plans and his approach to remote work. In both cases, Musk said workers are safeguarded from job losses and can continue to work remotely if they create “exceptional work.”
“The preference should definitely be heavily focused on in-person work, but if someone is exceptional, remote work may be in order,” Musk said, according to people who attended the meeting. The billionaire, who is also CEO of Tesla Inc., recently demanded that many of the electric car maker’s employees return to the office, sparking consternation among Twitter employees who were given the freedom to work anywhere in 2020 as the pandemic shut down branches. all over the world.
“If someone is excellent at what they do, but can only work remotely, it would be insane to then fire them, even though they are doing an excellent job,” Musk added. “So I’m definitely not a fan of things that are crazy. I’m for things that build the business and make it better.”
When asked about potential job cuts at Twitter, Musk did not confirm that a staff reduction was imminent, but hinted that the San Francisco-based company needs to better manage costs. Twitter has already implemented a number of cost savings, including canceling its planned company-wide retreat at Disneyland in early 2023.
“The business needs to get healthy. Right now, costs are higher than revenues, so that’s not a great situation to be in,” he said. “Anyone who clearly makes a significant contribution has nothing to worry about,” he added, noting that he will not “take any “actions that are harmful to the health of the company.”
Musk’s appearance at the meeting did little to appease those concerned that the deal will cause a stir at the company. An internal Slack channel devoted to discussions of Musk’s comments was mostly filled with employees angry at his responses, with some openly mocking the future boss.
According to three people familiar with the interactions, employees joked about Musk’s special treatment of these employees.
“Kind reminder that you can be 10 minutes late to a meeting announced to the world and still be exceptional,” one employee wrote on Slack, sarcastically referring to Musk’s own slowness to the all-hands on Thursday.
A few comments were supportive of Musk. An employee posted that others chose to interpret Musk’s comments in the “least generous way” possible, even though Musk supporters were in the minority, the people said, asking not to be identified over internal affairs.
Musk joined the video call in a white button-down shirt and appeared to be dialing in from his phone. He wandered through parts of the conversation — at one point late in the discussion, he brought up aliens and the “meaning of life,” adding, “I haven’t seen any real evidence for aliens.”
Still, the conversation with Musk started in a message to his audience, in which he expressed a “love” for Twitter’s service. The social network is a great way to get his thoughts out to the public, he said, pointing out that his tweets can only generate full news stories. “Some people use their hair to express themselves. I use Twitter,” he said.
What Musk failed to put forth was a clear, strong intent to complete the deal. Some at the company took Musk’s appearance as a positive sign that he intends to honor his $54.20 a share deal, but Musk himself has warned in recent weeks that he could leave the accord if Twitter fails. does to prove that its user base is mostly made up of real people and not bots.
Musk mentioned bot and spam accounts on the service at the meeting Thursday and said it was important for there to be “transparency” on Twitter to build trust with users. He suggested that Twitter could verify a user’s identity through Twitter Blue, the company’s current subscription service.
The conversation was moderated by Twitter Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland, who summarized some employee questions submitted ahead of time. CEO Parag Agrawal suggested Musk, although he and other top executives, such as finance head Ned Segal, did not speak during the interview, which according to those in attendance lasted about 45 minutes.
While there’s no way of knowing which executives will leave once Musk takes over, the Tesla CEO has made it clear that he’s not happy with Twitter’s current management. Presumably that includes Agrawal, as well as Twitter’s top attorney, Vijaya Gadde, who has publicly criticized Musk for her role in enforcing the company’s policies around hate speech and misinformation.
While Twitter shares fluctuated during the meeting and traded higher for a while even as the broader market fell, it ended the New York session 1.7 percent at $37.36, more than 30 percent below the price per share. that Musk has agreed to pay.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)