Twitter CEO faces employee anger over Musk’s criticism

The meeting came after Musk, the Tesla CEO who struck a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company, repeatedly criticized Twitter’s content moderation practices and a senior executive for calling out speech and safety policies.

In the internal meeting, heard by Reuters, executives said the company would monitor the rate of staff attrition daily, but it was too early to tell how the acquisition with Musk would affect employee retention.

Informed sources reported that Musk told the banks that will finance the deal that he will cut the salaries of board members and executives, but the cost cuts are still not precisely clear. One of the sources said that Musk will not make decisions about job cuts until he becomes the owner of Twitter.

One employee asked Agrawal a question that was read aloud during the meeting: “I’m sick of hearing talk about shareholder value and fiduciary duty. What are your thoughts on the very high probability that many employees will lose their jobs after the deal is done?”

Agrawal replied that Twitter has always taken care of its employees and will continue to do so.

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

During the meeting, executives said the attrition rate was unchanged from levels that preceded the news of Musk’s interest in buying the company.

In recent days, Musk has posted on Twitter criticism of Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Jade, a Twitter veteran who is widely respected in Silicon Valley. Musk’s attack sparked a barrage of online harassment targeting her.

Employees also told executives they fear Musk’s eccentric behavior could destabilize and hurt Twitter’s business as it prepares to address the advertising world at a presentation next week in New York City.

“Do we have a near-term strategy on how to deal with divergent advertisers?” asked one employee.

Sarah Personnet, Twitter’s chief customer officer, said the company was reaching out to advertisers frequently and reassuring them “that the way we serve our customers will not change.”

After the meeting, a Twitter employee told Reuters there was little confidence in what the executives were saying.

“Public relations talk doesn’t work. They told us don’t leak and do something you’re proud of, but there is no clear incentive for employees to do it,” the employee told Reuters, noting that non-executive employees’ bonuses have now been capped because of this deal.

During the meeting, Agrawal urged employees to anticipate change in the future under the new leadership and acknowledged that the company could have done better over the years.



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