Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised finance partners he’d slash costs, juice revenues and bring in new leadership in order to secure the funding to back his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter earlier this month.
Now, further details are emerging including reports that Musk is considering staff layoffs when he takes control of the company, a proposal that’s led to anxiety among Twitter’s 7,000 employees and fueled rumors of a mass worker exodus when the new boss moves in.
Here’s what we know: While Musk’s Twitter deal won’t be final until it earns the approval of stockholders and regulators, Reuter’s reports Musk has lined up a new chief executive for the company, though the source declined to reveal the identity of that person. Musk has noted on numerous occasions he’s not confident in current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who was named Twitter’s chief executive in November when co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from the position.
Musk also told his deal partners he would cut executive pay to save money and find new ways to monetize the platform.
Those new revenue streams could include, according to Yahoo Finance, paying social media influencers for their content, an approach that’s worked on other platforms like video-sharing site TikTok. Per Reuters, Musk is also working on plans to create a way to monetize tweets that go viral or include important information. He also suggested to finance partners the idea of charging a fee when third-party websites quote or embed tweets from verified accounts.
An employee uprising? Another tactic Musk may employ to bring costs down at Twitter, according to a Bloomberg News report, is to enact job cuts when he takes the helm. Musk reportedly won’t make decisions on reducing staffers until he receives ownership of the company.
But that qualified news has further roiled Twitter employees who are already toiling in an uncomfortable environment with Musk poised to take over but still answering to current executives who appear to be lame-duck decision-makers.
Agrawal sought to quell employee anger on Friday during a companywide meeting where employees demanded answers to how managers planned to handle an anticipated mass exodus prompted by Musk, according to Reuters.
At the internal town hall meeting, which was heard by Reuters, executives said the company would monitor staff attrition daily, but it was too soon to tell how the buyout deal with Musk would affect staff retention.
“I’m tired of hearing about shareholder value and fiduciary duty. What are your honest thoughts about the very high likelihood that many employees will not have jobs after the deal closes?” one Twitter employee asked Agrawal, in a question read aloud during the meeting.
Employees also told executives they feared Musk’s erratic behavior could destabilize Twitter’s business and hurt it financially as the company prepares to address the advertising world in a presentation next week in New York City, per Reuters.
“Do we have a strategy in the near-term on how to handle advertisers pulling investment,” one employee asked.