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The meltdowns are ongoing at Twitter as employees of the San Francisco-based tech giant struggle to come to terms with anti-censorship billionaire Elon Musk’s purchase of the company and workers vented at a Friday townhall meeting with CEO Parag Agrawal.
Musk’s $44 billion bid to buy the social media platform rocked safe spaces and is expected to lead to an employee exodus from those who are unwilling to accept the new reality that they will no longer be able to ban anyone who they disagree with from the digital “town square” when the Tesla/SpaceX CEO officially assumes control and takes the company private.
According to a report from Reuters, which “heard” the company-wide internal meeting, Agrawal was grilled by anxious staffers on what it all means.
“I’m tired of hearing about shareholder value and fiduciary duty. What are your honest thoughts about the very high likelihood that many employees will not have jobs after the deal closes?” one Twitter employee asked Agrawal, in a question read aloud during the meeting,” the outlet reported.
Agrawal offered reassurance that the company has always cared about employees and that won’t change, “I believe the future Twitter organization will continue to care about its impact on the world and its customers,” he said.
“Employees also told executives they feared Musk’s erratic behavior could destabilize Twitter’s business, and hurt it financially as the company prepares to address the advertising world in a presentation next week in New York City,” according to Reuters.
“Do we have a strategy in the near-term on how to handle advertisers pulling investment,” one employee asked,” the outlet reported. “Sarah Personette, Twitter’s chief customer officer, said the company was working to communicate frequently with advertisers and reassure them “the way that we service our customers is not changing.”
While the impact of potential changes by Musk have yet to be seen, he has expressed hope that his critics will give him a chance.
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.” he tweeted last week.
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
Contributing to employee angst are Musk’s recent tweets about Twitter lawyer and censorship czar Vijaya Gadde who had an emotional breakdown during a conference call to discuss his buying of the company, he has previously expressed an opinion that he has “no confidence” in senior management at Twitter.
Speculation that Gadde’s days may be numbered began after Musk’s retweet of a reporter about her role in the censoring of the pre-election bombshell New York Post report about Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, a computer filled with enough damning material that it may have kept his father out of the White House.
“Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate,” he said.
Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2022
Musk also tweeted out an image of Gadde’s remarks during an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast that suggested the company’s attorney who pulls down a $17 million salary is biased against conservatives.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2022
Twitter’s fragile employees likely were not pleased with two more of Musk’s recent tweets, including a diagram detailing the left’s extreme shift away from the political center since Barack Obama was reelected to a second term.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022
Another tweet on sent on the morning of the day of the big meeting said it all.
“The far left hates everyone, themselves included!” Musk wrote.
The far left hates everyone, themselves included!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2022
Last week Musk also drove one critical point home, stating that restoring trust in the platform will require neutrality.
“For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally,” he said.
For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2022
According Reuters, some employees came away unimpressed with what Agrawal and other executives said.
“The PR speak is not landing. They told us don’t leak and do a job you are proud of, but there is no clear incentive for employees to do this,” the employee told Reuters, noting that compensation for non-executive staffers is now capped because of the deal.”
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