Elon Musk reportedly warns Twitter bankruptcy ‘not out of the question’

Musk purchased the social media company less then two weeks ago

Richard Hall
Friday 11 November 2022 01:21 GMT
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Elon Musk told Twitter staff that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question” if the company’s current financial difficulties cannot be improved.

Mr Musk’s grim outlook of the social media company at an all-hands meeting on Thursday afternoon, less than two weeks after purchasing it for $44 billion, was first reported by Zoë Schiffer, the managing editor of tech news outlet Platformer.

“We just definitely need to bring in more cash than we spend. I we don’t do that and there’s a massive negative cash flow then bankruptcy is not out of the question,” Mr Musk said, according to a transcript of a recording obtained by The Verge.

Mr Musk also said that he wants one billion users on Twitter.

“So in order for us to achieve that good, how do we get a lot of people on the platform? There are 8 billion humans. If we don’t have at least a billion humans on the system, then we have a very small percentage of humans,” he said, according to the transcript.

The news came as Axios reported that Twitter’s head of trust and safety and the company’s interim head of advertising have both left the company. Yoel Roth and Robin Wheeler were both part of Mr Musk’s leadership team since his takeover, and had appeared on a Twitter spaces discussion on Wednesday that was designed to calm advertisers.

Mr Musk, who owns the electric car company Tesla and is the richest man in the world, has led a chaotic tenure since buying the company, firing half of the company’s staff and introducing several changes to subscription services and verification that were quickly abandoned.

After offering anyone the ability to buy a ‘verified’ blue tick on their profile for $8 a month, the site was inundated with imposters imitating world leaders and brands. Among the fakes were a verified Nintendo account tweeting an explicit photo of Mario, and a fraudulent account claiming to be former president George W Bush tweeting that he “miss[es] killing Iraqis”.

The uncertainty around verification and imposter accounts has led to some brands pausing advertising on the site, a development that has further imperiled the company’s financial prospects.

In his first email to Twitter earlier in the day, Mr Musk reportedly ended all remote working and warned of an uncertain future for the company.

According to Bloomberg, the new Twitter owner warned staff the company faces “difficult times ahead” and that there “no way to sugarcoat the message” about the firm’s current economic situation. He added that “intense work” would be needed to help Twitter succeed.

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