Musk aims to ease concerns in speech to Twitter workers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In an unusual move for what has been an unusual takeover bid by the world’s richest man for Twitter, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk will address employees of the social platform on Tuesday. Thursday, even though its $44 billion offer has yet to be completed.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced a meeting of all employees in an email on Monday, saying they could submit questions in advance, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Elon Musk
FILE – Elon Musk attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala on May 2, 2022 in New York. Musk has threatened to back out of his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter on Monday, June 6, 2022, the latest sign that his plan to overhaul the social media platform may really be starting to unravel. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Evan Agostini

The meeting is a “clear step in the right direction towards the chances of a deal and a smart strategic move, as Twitter employees have been left in the dark for the past several months and have many questions during this volatile period.” of uncertainty,” he said. Wedbush Analyst, Daniel Ives.

Musk reached an agreement to acquire Twitter in April, but has repeatedly clashed with the company since then over the number of bots or fake accounts that exist on the social media platform. Musk said he would suspend the deal on May 13, though it seems unlikely he would be able to do so on his own. Musk said he needed more data from the company on those bot accounts, even though Twitter has reported his bot estimates, and admitted they may be too low, to investors for years.

Twitter employees might have other reasons to be nervous about Musk’s impending acquisition. The irascible billionaire has launched a barrage of criticism at the company, from its moderation and security policies, which he describes as a threat to “freedom of expression”, to its anonymous user accounts, which he would like to delete, and the banning of the former president. Donald Trump, who has pledged to reverse.

Harry Kraemer, former CEO of Baxter International and a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, said the deal “isn’t a guarantee until it’s done” and that there are still many steps in the process before it is finalized. can complete the purchase. .

“In my experience, it’s very unusual and almost unheard of for someone who hasn’t bought the company to talk to current employees of the company they’re looking to buy,” Kraemer said.

If history is any guide, Musk could consider moving the company to Texas, as he did with Tesla’s headquarters in December 2021. An unabashed devotee of cryptocurrencies, he has floated ideas about accepting the dogecoin cryptocurrency as payment for premium accounts. Musk also once had Tesla buy $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and for a brief period allowed buyers to pay for their cars using cryptocurrency.

He also took aim at Twitter’s work-from-home policy, as he once called for the company’s headquarters to become a “homeless shelter” because, he said, too few employees actually worked there. The comment also served as a thinly veiled jab at San Francisco, which has a large homeless population.

It is unclear if this week’s meeting means the two sides have moved closer to resolve their issues. Twitter shares have been trading well below the $54.20 per share that Musk agreed to pay amid Wall Street doubts the deal will go through.

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