Elon Musk wants to ‘buy the Twitter name, then gut it’, ex-employee claims

‘It feels like the perfect time to try and get out — or prepare yourself for what’s going to happen’, they said

Adam Smith
Monday 10 October 2022 16:25 BST

Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter so he can ‘gut and change it’, according to an anonymous Twitter employee who left the company ahead of the billionaire’s takeover.

Mr Musk had put in a $44bn offer to buy Twitter in April, rather than joining the company’s board, which had previously been announced.

He then stated that the deal was ‘on hold’ due to claims that Twitter was lying over the number of bots on the platform, but following text messages being released as part of an upcoming court case against Twitter over his actions, Mr Musk said he will now indeed purchase the company.

When Mr Musk and Twitter first announced the deal in April 2022, “it felt like everything halted”, the employee said, via Business Insider.

“The company stopped backfilling roles. It limited hiring, which put huge pressure on teams. There were people who left after the Musk move because of the environment it created. It was very stressful.”

Executives apparently said that the company was in financial trouble, separate to Mr Musk’s decision to purchase, the employee claims. Twitter did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment before time of publication.

“It affected work patterns for a lot of teams. People on my team worried that they needed to show their work was valuable to save their jobs and their team. Our manager told us that attrition was what the company wanted”, the employee said.

Mr Musk has said that Twitter needs to slim down or increase its revenue. The company recently fired 30 per cent of its recruitment team, as well as two high-profile leads, with Mr Musk saying that Twitter “does need to get healthy” and that “the costs exceed the revenue”, he added.

“Lots of people were having mental-health challenges during the time. It wasn’t just that working on stuff for Twitter is tricky or that big companies are high-pressure environments. It was just unpleasant to be doing that amount of work under those uncertain circumstances”, the employee continues.

“The company cancelled projects quickly and streamlined everything. You had to start quantifying the impact of your work very clearly. Even if you supported Musk taking over, it had a clear effect on the company employees couldn’t ignore.”

Twitter’s internal policies apparently did not change in anticipation of Mr Musk heading the company, but there are concerns that content moderation work will be stopped once he takes over.

Mr Musk has previously said that free speech should mean allowing any content that is not illegal on the site, but experts have said such a definition could put him against both government regulation and against advertisers who may not want their products promoted next to certain content.

“It seems to me that he wants to buy the Twitter name, then completely gut and change it”, the employee claimed.

“Speaking to people there, nobody feels safe in their job. I just don’t understand how it’s going to work as a company. There’s a mad attempt to restructure in some places to save face. It feels like the perfect time to try and get out — or prepare yourself for what’s going to happen.”

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