Elon Musk on Thursday addressed Twitter employees for the first time since initiating proceedings for his proposed $44 billion USD acquisition of the social media company.
The Tesla CEO attended a Q&A session that has reportedly confirmed concerns regarding layoffs, a reduction in remote work opportunities, decreased content moderation on the platform, and more for Twitter’s staff by and large.
As for why Musk settled on buying the company, the celebrity billionaire said, “I love Twitter.”
“I learn a lot from what I learn on Twitter,” he added. It’s a “great way to get a message out,” and where “some people use their hair to express themselves, I use Twitter.”
According to a previously leaked pitch deck, Musk ultimately plans to increase the total number of employees at Twitter from around 7,500 today to 11,072 by 2025. However, in the short term, the company is expected to see significant job cuts once Musk takes over.
Some of Musk’s comments during the session reinforced these expectations. “If someone is getting useful things done, that’s great. If they’re not then I’m like why are they at the company,” he said.
“Anyone who is a significant contributor has nothing to worry about.”
Employees also feared Musk would bear down on remote work privileges at Twitter, especially after he told Tesla employees last month that “remote work is no longer acceptable.”
Musk doesn’t necessarily plan on painting Twitter with the same brush. Tesla makes cars, and you can’t make cars remotely, he said. Musk did, however, add that his “bias is strongly towards working in person.”
The Tesla CEO also answered questions about his political ideologies, and expressed how important freedom of speech is to him and should be to Twitter.
“I’m in favor of moderate politics. But allowing people who have relatively extreme views to express those views within the bounds of the law.”
"It’s essential to have free speech."
"It’s important to represent multiple opinions & not driving a narrative."
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 16, 2022
The Tesla CEO went on to talk about the distinction between “freedom of speech” and “freedom of reach.” To Musk, anyone should be able to say anything on Twitter, but what they say shouldn’t necessarily be promoted.
“I think the potential is there for Twitter to […] be accessible to an order of magnitude more people,” he said.
Towards the end of the meeting, Musk established he wants Twitter to eventually grow to 1 billion daily active users — a goal that was also laid out in his leaked pitch deck for investors. The electric car mogul won’t necessarily take up the CEO mantle at Twitter, as he said he’s more interested in driving the platform in a specific direction than titles.
The Twitter-Musk deal hit a few bumps these past few weeks over the social media site’s estimates of how many fake/spam accounts make up its user base. However, the sale appears to be moving forward after Twitter last week agreed to hand over internal data on bot accounts to Musk.
Update: Here’s the full video of Musk addressing Twitter employees:
Nehal has a passion for everything tech — from electric vehicles to the latest smartphones, and everything in between, including coffee (click here to buy me a coffee!). Click here to get 1,000 Tesla Supercharger miles free with your next Tesla purchase.