Multi-billionaire, Elon Musk, during a meeting with Twitter employees, hinted at potential job cuts if his $44bn (£35.8bn) takeover bid for the social media company is successful.
He also addressed topics like remote working, freedom of speech and potential extra-terrestrial life. Mr. Musk was interacting with staff for the first time since launching his bid for the firm in April 2022. Ahead of the meeting, he mentioned that he may quit the deal if he is not given data about fake accounts.
On a wide-ranging video call with Twitter employees on Thursday, June 16, 2022, Mr. Musk said layoffs at Twitter would depend on the company’s financial situation. “The company does need to get healthy. Right now, the costs exceed the revenue,” Mr. Musk disclosed to employees. But he added that “Anyone who’s… a significant contributor should have nothing to worry about”. He also stated his preference for working from the office unless “somebody is exceptional”.
However, he did not provide any update on takeover discussions. Twitter employees resorted to internal communications channels to express their disappointment about his views on the business and employee compensation.
Other Matters of Discussion
Mr. Musk, who is the boss of electric vehicle maker, Tesla and rocket company, SpaceX, also discussed the possibility of life beyond earth although he intimated that he has not seen “actual evidence for aliens”.
He asked, “Can we travel to other star systems and see if there are alien civilisations”? adding that the platform could help “civilisation and consciousness”.
Earlier this month (June 2022), Mr. Musk threatened to walk away from the takeover bid and at the same time, accused Twitter of “thwarting” his requests to learn more about its user base.
In a letter filed with regulators, he said he was entitled to do his own measurement of spam accounts. The letter formalised a dispute that simmered for weeks after he declared the deal was “on hold” pending further information. On the other hand, shares in the company stood at $37.36 each at the end of New York trading on Thursday, June 16, 2022, which is well below Mr. Musk’s offer price of $54.20.
Separately, a group of employees at SpaceX, where Mr. Musk sits as the Chief Executive, called Mr. Musk a “frequent source of distraction and embarrassment” in an internal letter to the company’s executives on Thursday, June 16, 2022.
A New Lawsuit
Meanwhile, he was also sued for $258bn (£209bn) later in the day by an investor in the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, who accused him of running a pyramid scheme to drive up its price. The complaint filed in New York alleged that Mr. Musk “used his pedestal as world’s richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for profit, exposure and amusement”.