“The economic picture ahead is tragic,” says Elon Musk to Twitter’s Chicago Tribune


SAN FRANCISCO – Two weeks after closing the $ 44 billion contract to purchase Twitter, Elon Musk sent emails to employees of the social media company late Wednesday.

In two e-mails seen by The Recent York Times, Musk outlined a bleak picture of Twitter’s financial situation and outlined changes for the corporate, including ending its distant working policy and re-focusing on generating revenue and fighting spam.

“Sorry that is my first email to the corporate, but there isn’t any approach to sugarcoat it,” Musk, 51, wrote in a single email. “The economic picture ahead is tragic.” He added that Twitter was too heavily depending on ads and vulnerable to declines in brand spend, and would must increase its subscription revenue.

In one other note to employees, he wrote that “absolutely the top priority is to seek out and suspend any verified bots / trolls / spam.”

Musk’s emails got here while Twitter was still pissed off by his changes. Last week he cut about 50% of the corporate’s 7,500 employees. At the identical time, Musk pushed for product changes that will help Twitter make more cash, including promoting a subscription product. Earlier, he said the corporate was losing $ 4 million a day.

Twitter, whose communications department was almost completely fired, didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. Bloomberg previously reported on Musk’s e-mails.

Twitter’s three top security, privacy and compliance executives also resigned on Wednesday, in accordance with two people conversant in the case and internal documents seen by the Times.

Outgoing directors include Lea Kissner, Twitter’s chief information security officer; Damien Kieran, Chief Privacy Officer; and Marianne Fogarty, chief compliance officer. Their resignations got here the day before Twitter submitted its compliance report back to the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees the corporate’s privacy practices under the 2011 settlement.

Twitter typically checked its products for privacy issues before sharing them with users to avoid additional penalties from the FTC and comply with the settlement. But as a result of the rapid pace of product development at Musk, engineers could have to “self-certify” to make sure their designs meet privacy requirements, one worker wrote in an internal message that the Times saw.

“Elon has shown that he only cares about recovering the losses he suffered because of this of his failure to satisfy his commitment to buy Twitter,” the worker wrote. Changes to the FTC’s Twitter reviews may end up in heavy fines and put people working for the corporate in danger.

“This can create enormous personal, skilled and legal risks for engineers: I anticipate that you’ll all be pressured by management to implement changes which can be more likely to result in serious incidents,” the worker wrote.

The FTC spokesman didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Twitter is under pressure to earn money. To fund the buyout, Musk took on $ 13 billion in debt, which is able to require Twitter to pay over $ 1 billion a 12 months in interest alone.

The corporate earns about 90% of its revenue from advertisers, a few of whom have dropped out of the platform in recent days as a result of uncertainty over Musk’s involvement in removing toxic content from Twitter. He reacted by threatening “name and thermonuclear shame” to advertisers who decided to freeze spending.

Musk also raced in quest of recent subscription revenue. One in every of his first projects was to modernize the Twitter Blue subscription service. He raised the value to $ 8 a month and said subscribers would receive a verification tag that Twitter normally gives to famous users corresponding to celebrities and politicians.

In one among his emails to employees Wednesday, Musk said subscriptions should ultimately account for about half of the corporate’s revenues. “Without significant subscription revenues, there’s probability Twitter won’t survive the approaching economic downturn,” he wrote.

Musk also told employees that that they had to return to the office on Thursday and work a minimum of 40 hours per week from there. Twitter’s workforce has been distant from the beginning of the pandemic, and in recent times its employees have been capable of select where they need to live moderately than stay within the cities where the corporate has offices.

At another Musk firms, including electric automotive maker Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX, also said employees have to return to the office to work 40 hours per week.

c.2022 The Recent York Times Company

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