The chaos continues on Twitter.
From back-to-back terminations to regulatory warnings and fleeing advertisers, Twitter’s Elon Musk is facing difficulties on all sides, despite his efforts to motivate the remaining employees.
“The future is encouraging and I look forward to moving forward with you,” the new CEO said Thursday at the start of an internal meeting of employees who were not laid off during his mass layoffs a week ago.
But bankruptcy threatened when he later admitted he didn’t know how much the company’s “sales” would fall over the next year.
“We may have a multi-billion dollar cash flow shortfall,” he said, according to staff-to-workers viewed by AFP.
In an internal letter, Musk wrote to employees the day before that the road was “tough” and they “must report to the offices in person to work at least forty hours a week.”
Staffers also asked him about the risks associated with rapidly deploying new, untested features, the Tesla and SpaceX president’s preferred method.
The US competition authority issued a rare warning about the platform on Thursday. “We are following the latest developments on Twitter with great concern. No CEO or company is above the law,” said a spokesman for that body.
He pointed out that the platform risks potentially hefty fines if it fails to comply with the rules of a data security and confidentiality agreement it has with the agency.
Many employees no longer work for Twitter because of these rules. Musk fired half of the California-based company’s 7,500 employees a week ago, ten days after the purchase, and became sole manager.
Hundreds of people had already left the company this summer. And continued cadres resignations in recent days. Demian Keran, Director of Privacy, and Leah Kessner, Chief Security Officer, have announced their departures.
Other administrators also opted to step down, including Yoel Roth, Twitter’s “former head of trust and security,” he wrote on his account Thursday night.
He has intervened several times in the past few days to explain the changes or to ensure that combating disinformation remains “the top priority”.
But Robin Wheeler, the manager in charge of customer solutions, who announced his departure from Twitter, the American media, wrote in a tweet on Thursday evening: “I’m still here.” Funny images proliferating on the platform pointing to chaos and indicated panic.
As for Musk, he reiterates that content management hasn’t changed as a precaution against abuse on the platform.
On Thursday, he said Twitter usage “continues to grow,” stressing that “one thing’s for sure: It’s not boring.”
But his hasty decisions and provocations on Twitter have generated daily controversy for the past two weeks, which has alarmed a number of authorities, advertisers, users and minorities. A large number of advertisers have stopped spending on the influential social network that relies on advertising for 90% of its economic model.
The Office of Inside Intelligence has lowered its forecast for Twitter’s ad revenue in 2023 and 2024 by 39 percent.
And Elon Musk wants to diversify its revenue streams, from subscriptions for users to content creation tools for influencers. But Wednesday’s launch of Twitter Blue, a new $8-a-month formula for verifying the authenticity of individual accounts, has resulted in conflicting official ads and fake profiles.
“Thank you for your understanding that Twitter will be doing a lot of ridiculous things in the coming months. We will keep what works and change what doesn’t,” the billionaire wrote on Twitter.
Earlier in the week, he sold $4 billion worth of shares in his flagship auto company, Tesla. “I did it to save Twitter,” he told employees Thursday.
Musk wanted to buy Twitter in the spring and then backed out, but had to buy it in the fall to avoid litigation.
“This whole Twitter circus needs to stop…it’s hurting the image of the Tesla brand,” analyst Dan Ives said Thursday.
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