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Musk Addresses Twitter Employees for First Time

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Elon Musk | Image by CNN

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Elon Musk addressed Twitter employees Thursday for the first time since he offered to purchase the social media site in April, according to Reuters.

In a virtual “all-hands” meeting with the employees, Musk addressed a wide range of topics, from his vision for Twitter to whether he will take the CEO spot.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal sent an email to Twitter employees, announcing the surprise guest and giving them the option to submit anonymous questions starting Wednesday, Business Insider reported.

The company’s chief marketing officer, Leslie Berland, moderated the call.

Since Musk’s takeover bid, Twitter employees have expressed concerns that the billionaire’s “erratic behavior” could destabilize the social media company’s business and hurt it financially, Reuters reported.

In April, Agrawal quelled “employee anger” during a company-wide meeting where staff demanded answers about how managers would handle a potential mass exodus if Musk purchased the social media platform.

Agrawal said at the time that he believes Twitter has always cared about its employees and will continue to do so.

“I believe the future Twitter organization will continue to care about its impact on the world and its customers,” Agrawal said.

Twitter employees had the opportunity to hear the answers to their questions directly from Musk at yesterday’s meeting. Business Insider reviewed a recording of the Q&A session and shared some takeaways from the discussion.

One question centered on the idea of layoffs, and Musk did not mince words with his reply. The Tesla CEO pointed out that Twitter’s revenue does not currently match its costs.

“That’s not a great situation to be in,” Musk said. “So there would have to be some rationalization of headcount and expenses, to have revenue be greater than the cost, or else Twitter is simply not viable or can’t grow.”

Musk went on to say layoffs would not affect “significant contributors” but did not clarify what that would entail.

“I do not take actions which are disruptive to the health of the company,” Musk added.

Musk also took this question: “Twitter has a lot of incredible, smart, talented people. What can we do to earn your trust, and what are you going to do to earn ours?” In response, he talked about the type of people he believes can take Twitter to the “next level.”

“If somebody’s getting useful things done, then that’s great,” he said. “If they’re not getting useful things done, then like, okay, why are they at the company? So, it’s just really just, like, we need to improve the technology, improve the design, and, you know, trust emerges from that.”

Another topic brought up during the meeting was remote work. The Dallas Express reported on June 4 that Musk told his Tesla employees via email that remote work would no longer be permitted. He also penned a tweet comparing remote work to “pretending” to work.

“You want to aspire to do things in person,” he said during Thursday’s meeting. “But if somebody is exceptional at their job, then it’s possible for them to be effective, even working remotely.”

Musk added that he had asked Tesla managers for a list of workers, which he will review to determine which of them he deems “exceptional” and eligible for potential remote work.

Berland followed up on the question a bit later, and Musk added, “The bias definitely needs to be strongly toward working in person.”

When asked if he would attend part two of this town hall-style meeting, Musk did not hesitate.

“Oh, yeah,” Musk said. “Absolutely. Happy to.”

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