Elon Musk ‘tells Twitter staff at all-hands meeting that bankruptcy is not out of the question’
Elon Musk on Thursday raised the possibility of Twitter going bankrupt, capping a chaotic day that included a warning from regulators and departures of senior executives.
The billionaire told employees on a call that that he could not rule out bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported, two weeks after buying it for $44billion – a deal that credit experts say has left Twitter’s finances in a precarious position.
The ‘all hands’ meeting was called with just an hour’s notice and Musk showed up 15 minutes late for it, according to Platformer.
Musk, who has made a key pillar of his purchase of Twitter the end of working from home, reportedly told staff: ‘If you can physically make it to an office and you don’t show up, resignation accepted.’
Two more executives – Yoel Roth and Robin Wheeler, have resigned, even after they moderated a Twitter Spaces chat with Musk on Wednesday as he tried to assuage advertisers’ concerns.
Roth and Wheeler did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier on Thursday, Twitter’s Chief Security Officer Lea Kissner tweeted that she had quit.
In addition, the company’s stock appears to have been delisted for the time being.
Elon Musk on Thursday raised the possibility of Twitter going bankrupt, capping a chaotic day that included a warning from regulators and departures of senior executives
The billionaire told employees on a call that that he could not rule out bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported, two weeks after buying it for $44billion – a deal that credit experts say has left Twitter’s finances in a precarious position
Chief Privacy Officer Damien Kieran and Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty also resigned, according to an internal message posted to Twitter’s Slack messaging system on Thursday by an attorney on its privacy team and seen by Reuters.
A lawyer working for Twitter warned that the social network could face billions in fines from the FTC over potential violations of the consent decree it’s been under – resulting from Elon Musk‘s rapid-fire changes that impact user privacy.
The note that was posted to the company’s Slack and was viewable by all staffers goes on to say that its author has ‘heard Alex Spiro (the current head of Legal) say that Elon is willing to take on a huge amount of risk in relation to this company and its users, because ‘Elon puts rockets into space, he’s not afraid of the FTC.”
Since taking the helm of the company, Musk has fired almost half its workforce, ended remote work for the remaining employees, said there was ‘no way to sugarcoat’ the firm’s economic outlook and has gone back and forth with changes to its verification system and Twitter Blue.
In his first meeting with all employees at Twitter on Thursday afternoon, Musk warned that the company may lose billions of dollars next year, the Information reported.
Yoel Roth, Head of Safety & Integrity at Twitter, reportedly resigned just a day after holding a Twitter spaces conversation with Musk
Twitter Client Solutions Leader Robin Wheeler also has reportedly handed in her resignation
Twitter did not respond to requests for comment on a potential bankruptcy, the FTC warning, or the departures.
Wheeler was the face of Twitter for advertising after Musk took over.
Roth, who was head of safety and integrity at Twitter, has said Twitter had reduced views of harmful content in search results by 95 percent compared to before Musk’s acquisition.
Musk has saddled Twitter with $13billion in debt, on which it faces interest payments totaling close to $1.2billion in the next 12 months.
The payments exceed Twitter’s most recently disclosed cash flow, which amounted to $1.1billion as of the end of June.
Musk has ended remote working for Twitter staff – as he told the company to prepare for ‘difficult times ahead’ in his first email to employees since taking over as CEO.
A lawyer working for Twitter warns that the social network could face billions in fines from the FTC over potential violations of the consent decree it’s been under – resulting from Elon Musk’s rapid-fire changes that impact user privacy
‘Elon has shown that his only priority with Twitter users is how to monetize them. I do not believe he cares about the human rights activists. the dissidents, our users in un-monetizable regions, and all the other users who have made Twitter the global town square you have all spent so long building, and we all love,’ the lawyer wrote in the message, which was obtained by The Verge
Since taking the helm of the company , Musk had fired almost half its workforce, ended remote work for the remaining employees, said there was ‘no way to sugarcoat’ the firm’s economic outlook and has gone back and forth with changes to its verification system and Twitter Blue
The email, sent late on Wednesday night, stated there was ‘no way to sugarcoat’ the economic outlook.
According to Bloomberg, he said that the poor forecast will affect an advertising-dependent company such as Twitter.
In the email he also announced he was banning working from home, expecting workers in the office at least 40 hours a week.
The hours are subject to conditions approved by him as the new head of Twitter.
He said: ‘The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed.’
According to Bloomberg, Musk (pictured at Twitter HQ in San Francisco) said that it will affect an advertising-dependent company like Twitter
He also banned remote work, expecting workers in the office at least 40 hours a week. Pictured: Musk at Twitter
The email is the latest announcement amid a raft of changes under his leadership at Twitter. He last night tweeted: ‘Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months. We will keep what works and change what doesn’t’
Policies mentioned in the email are effective immediately.
It is his latest warning to his new staff just days after he sacked almost half the company’s global workforce of about 7,500.
Musk announced plans to cut half its workforce last week, promised to stop fake accounts and is charging $8 a month for the Twitter Blue service that will include a blue check verification.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on the note from the attorney or the departures. Spiro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Twitter’s buyout has sparked concerns that Musk, who has often waded into political debates, could face pressure from countries trying to control online speech.
It prompted U.S. President Joe Biden to say on Wednesday that Musk’s ‘cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at.’
Musk told advertisers on Wednesday, speaking on Twitter’s Spaces feature, that he aimed to turn the platform into a force for truth and stop fake accounts.
His assurances may not be enough.
Chipotle Mexican Grill said on Thursday it had pulled back its paid and owned content on Twitter ‘while we gain a better understanding on the direction of the platform under its new leadership.’
It joined other brands including General Motors that have paused advertising on Twitter since Musk took over, concerned that he will loosen content moderation rules.
TIMELINE OF ELON MUSK’S CHAOTIC ATTEMPT TO TAKEOVER TWITTER
April 2: Musk announces that he owns 9.2 percent of the company, making him its largest single shareholder
April 14: Musk offers to take Twitter private at $54.20 a share, valuing the company at $44billion
April 25: Twitter accepts Musk’s offer
April 29: Musk sells $8billion in Tesla shares to finance deal
May 13: Musk says Twitter deal is on hold pending a review of bot accounts
May 26: Musk is sued by Twitter for stock manipulation during takeover
July 8: Musk says he’s backing out of the deal. Twitter sues, trying to force him into seeing it through.
October 4: Musk proposes again to go ahead with the deal at the original price
October 17: Proposed trial date in Delaware
October 26: Musk visits Twitter HQ with a sink, updates his bio on the site to ‘Chief Twit’ and sets his location to Twitter HQ
October 27: Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter is finally completed
October 28: Musk fires top Twitter employees, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and top counsel Vijaya Gadde, the woman responsible for banning President Trump after the January 6 riots last year.
October 30: Twitter employees are told by Musk to make verified accounts a feature that’s exclusive to Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service
October 31: Musk confirms he’s the new CEO of Twitter and dissolves the board of directors