What Twitter employees are saying about Elon Musk – TrendyNewsReporters

What Twitter employees are saying about Elon Musk

In the moments before Elon Musk bought Twitter, the company’s Slack channels were lit up with nervous anticipation. It had been days since Twitter leadership had shared anything with them, and after a weekend’s worth of reports that a sale was imminent, employees were looking for answers.

For the first few hours of the morning, none came. Work all but came to a halt, employees told me. Like a classroom where the teacher is late and students are attempting to self-govern, one said. A “hellhole,” said another. One thread, in which an employee asked good-naturedly whether anyone was excited about the prospect of working for Musk, drew dozens of responses, many of them quite ugly.

Then, just before the markets closed, the news arrived: the board had accepted Musk’s offer to take the company private for $44 billion, or $54.20 a share. What began three weeks ago as a “passive investment” will end with Musk in charge.

After the announcement, sentiment in the public Slack channels remained largely concerned and negative, employees told me. “I was kind of surprised how much people seemed like they were giving up,” one told me. “Big bummer.”

But in one-on-one discussions, responses were more tempered. Some employees I’ve spoken with are open to the idea that a private Twitter run by Musk stands a better chance of improving the service than would a public company beholden to its shareholders. They like the fact that he wants to eliminate harmful bots and bring more clarity to how recommendation algorithms work.

At the same time, many Twitter employees receive half or more of their compensation in stock. At an all-hands meeting on Monday afternoon, they were told that employees will not receive equity once the company goes private. As a result, one person told me, “group chats are scrambling to see if working at Twitter makes economic sense first and foremost.”

The deal is expected to take around six months to close. At that time, it seems likely that CEO Parag Agrawal will leave the company, although he did not say so when addressing employees today. Agrawal did say there would not be layoffs in the near term, though he would not comment on whether there would be a hiring freeze. (There is, however, a partial freeze on new features, although I’m told that’s fairly standard during moments when there is a lot of attention on Twitter and the company doesn’t want to introduce any new bugs.)

In the meantime… hiring will be harder. There seems to be at least some likelihood that the company will see significant attrition, particularly in the leadership ranks — and on the “health” teams that work to fight harassment and abuse. On the plus side, the company’s earnings report Thursday no longer has the potential to further tank its stock.

Beyond that, as with everything related to the Twitter-Musk story over the past month, it’s extremely difficult to predict.

How did we get here?

On one hand, Musk’s acquisition really is an extraordinary story. Acquiring 9 percent of the company as a “passive” investor, failing to report it on time, getting invited to join the board, turning it down, then offering to buy the company outright — that’s an extremely strange turn of events.

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