Elon Musk’s first week as Twitter’s CEO began in true Elon style; with a meme.
Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
Elon Musk entering Twitter’s headquarters holding a sink, a play on words.
Elon Musk, the wealthiest person in the world, most infamously known as Tesla’s CEO, began the very public acquisition process of Twitter in April 2022 and officially bought Twitter on 27th October 2022 for $44 billion USD. Musk previously acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter in mid-March, unbeknownst to the social media company.
Elon Musk at a Tesla event, revealing the launch of the Tesla Model X in September 2015.
Musk has expressed that he will run Twitter until he finds a suitable leader and indicates to Twitter advertisers that it will not turn into a “free-for-all-hellscape” on his own account, a place where he often shares his thoughts.
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
Elon Musk’s statement to advertisers of Twitter.
The first week of change in ownership has created a breeding ground for controversies. Musk did not hesitate to fire many of Twitter’s executives and members on the directors’ board. Those who were fired included CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, general counsel Sean Edgett, and chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde however, it has been speculated that they were rewarded with hefty compensations.
Agrawal and Musk’s relationship has been publicly sour with confrontations on the platform dating back months ago. Additionally, Segal has stated how the “past 6 months” of Musk’s acquisition has “pulled on every mental muscle [he’s] developed in 48 years.”
Although Musk was extremely vocal on his own Twitter account, there was no news about Musk’s leadership for the employees. Many were fearful for their jobs considering the layoffs of big company figures. Within the next few days, Musk brought in associates of his own to aid his leadership such as tech executive David Sacks and his own personal attorney Alex Spiro. According to CNBC, as many as 50 engineers from Tesla and his other companies were also recruited for help.
Despite Musk’s constant documentation of his new life and his plans for Twitter, many have voiced their disappointments with his choices.
Bruce Daisley, Twitter’s former vice-president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa has said on the podcast The News Agents that Musk “doesn’t know what he’s doing” and is causing alarm within his staff.
Another controversial event that received notoriety from users of the platform was Musk’s decision to start charging $20 USD for users to keep their verification status. One of the many unsatisfied was horror author Stephen King.
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
King’s tweet regarding his opinion on Musk’s decision to capitalise on verified users.
In response, Musk defended his decision that “we need to pay the bills somehow!”.
Regardless, Musk backtracked and began to negotiate with King, reducing the monthly fee to $8 USD. Musk believes that “the only way to defeat bots & trolls” is with this fee.
Musk has even voiced his thoughts on whether the banned user and 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump will be returning to the platform but noting it will take “a few more weeks” for the review process to take place.
To end his eventful first week as Twitter’s new owner, it is with no surprise that more chaos ensued, with top executives resigning, including the chief marking officer; the chief customer officer; the head of people; and the head of people, and diversity. Many advertisers are also in talks about leaving the platform according to Insider.
According to Insider, Musk seems unfazed as a list of around 3,700 employees who will be fired is finalised, and have progressed with his plans of charging $8 for keeping user verification.
Feature Image by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash.