SAN FRANCISCO — For months, Elon Musk has publicly trashed Twitter, even while he is buying the enterprise in a $44 billion deal. On Thursday, he finally acted like an proprietor.
In an hourlong problem-and-remedy session in the morning with Twitter’s 8,000 or so staff members — the 1st time Mr. Musk has spoken with them given that he agreed to buy the social media corporation in April — the world’s richest guy opened up about his plans for the assistance. In an effusive and at times rambling address, he touched on topics as diversified as expansion, prospective layoffs, anonymity, Chinese apps, the existence of alien existence-forms and even the cosmic character of Twitter.
“I want Twitter to lead to a improved, long-lasting civilization in which we greater comprehend the mother nature of reality,” Mr. Musk stated in the assembly, which was livestreamed to Twitter workforce and which The New York Moments listened to.
The 50-calendar year-previous added that he hoped the provider could support humankind “better realize the nature of the universe, as considerably as it is probable to have an understanding of.”
The conference, which Mr. Musk participated in from his cellphone in what appeared to be a resort room, advised that he was established on closing the blockbuster acquisition. His intentions had been in doubt in modern months when the billionaire, who also runs the electrical carmaker Tesla and the rocket company SpaceX, continuously elevated thoughts about Twitter’s pretend accounts in an evident pretext for perhaps ending or renegotiating the deal.
Given that April, the famously mercurial Mr. Musk has tweeted that the acquire was “on hold” and accused Twitter of “actively resisting and thwarting” his legal rights. At yet another issue, he experienced criticized some of the company’s executives. He designed his inflammatory opinions as international markets tumbled and shares of Tesla, which are his principal source of prosperity, plummeted.
The antics from Mr. Musk, who is shelling out $54.20 a share to acquire Twitter, experienced remaining investors, the company’s workers and some others guessing as to what he may well do. Twitter’s inventory is now investing all around $37. Yet the firm has insisted that the deal remains on observe and that it has been sharing facts with Mr. Musk, who is on the hook for a break up charge of $1 billion if he walks away.
Mr. Musk did not right address on Thursday whether he would close the offer with Twitter, but he created it distinct to employees that he experienced grand ambitions.
In the course of the dialogue, which was moderated by Twitter’s chief advertising and marketing officer, Leslie Berland, Mr. Musk said he hoped to develop the assistance to more than 1 billion customers across the globe. That would be almost four times the quantity of current people. He extra that he was arms-on at Tesla and envisioned to be so at Twitter.
Even with such a efficiency, some cautioned that Mr. Musk could however change his mind about completing the deal for Twitter.
“I assume he’s running on two tracks,” explained Ann Lipton, a professor of corporate governance at Tulane Law School. “Maybe he wants to decreased the price tag or even cancel the offer. If the offer goes by way of, he would like extra traders.”
She additional: “Publicly speaking to Twitter workforce, seeking to assuage their concerns, perhaps gives reassurances to potential buyers. But I’m not obvious regardless of whether which is his Strategy B or his Prepare A.”
Twitter declined to remark on the assembly, and Mr. Musk did not reply to a ask for for remark.
Mr. Musk had been scheduled to discuss to Twitter’s workers weeks in the past, but the session did not acquire position. Then around the earlier 7 days, the San Francisco-based business commenced accumulating questions for him from workers on its inside Slack messaging method. The assembly, scheduled to commence at 9 a.m. San Francisco time, began a couple of minutes late, with Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s main executive, thanking Mr. Musk.
Then Mr. Musk started answering thoughts, which includes about distant perform. This month, he despatched memos to personnel at Tesla and SpaceX saying he anticipated them to be in the office for 40 hours a 7 days. Twitter’s personnel have mainly worked remotely in the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Musk informed Twitter workers that he was open to their doing the job remotely, supplied that building application is different from exhibiting up everyday to establish automobiles. But he claimed a wide lack of in-business office participation could contribute to a dwindling “esprit de corps” and hoped that individuals would be eager to go into the business far more in the potential.
Mr. Musk dodged straight answering no matter whether there would be layoffs at Twitter, however his reply was to some degree ominous.
“Right now, expenditures exceed profits,” he said. “That’s not a great problem.”
At an additional issue, he digressed into a discussion about no matter whether extraterrestrial existence was attainable, nevertheless it was unclear the place he netted out. He also brought up the Chinese applications WeChat and TikTok as aspirational, specified that WeChat is so embedded in people’s every day lives in China and TikTok is “not uninteresting.”
One particular enhancement that Mr. Musk explained he wanted to make was adding payments technology to Twitter. Preferably, consumers would be able to deliver cash again and forth by the services, similar to how items like Venmo or Sq. Hard cash operate.
How Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal Unfolded
A blockbuster offer. Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest male, capped what seemed an inconceivable try by the famously mercurial billionaire to invest in Twitter for approximately $44 billion. Here’s how the offer unfolded:
Mr. Musk, a longtime energy user of Twitter with more than 98 million followers, has extended said he thinks the company’s probable is underutilized. He has added that he hopes to rejuvenate the support outdoors the eye of the public markets by getting the corporation non-public and producing considerable variations to how Twitter operates.
Inside of Twitter, some personnel have had mixed thoughts about Mr. Musk. Some have claimed they are worried by his Twitter behaviors and murky politics.
On Thursday, workers at SpaceX circulated a memo stating that they have been also concerned about their main executive’s general public actions — specifically how he acted on Twitter — and that it reflected poorly on employees.
“Elon’s habits in the community sphere is a recurrent supply of distraction and humiliation for us,” read the letter, which was received by The Times and noted previously by The Verge. “As our C.E.O. and most distinguished spokesperson, Elon is observed as the experience of SpaceX — just about every tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the corporation.”
Other individuals at Twitter have mentioned they have been worried by how Mr. Musk would like to take a laissez-faire method to policing the platform.
On Thursday, he emphasized that he needed to make Twitter as inclusive a system as achievable, mostly by gaining much more people, adding that he would not allow for prison functions to be carried out on the community. He reported that he also did not want to make people today use their genuine names on Twitter and that there was utility in employing pseudonyms to express political views on the assistance.
Some Twitter personnel, who have pointed to Mr. Musk’s reputation as an innovator, stated they felt heartened soon after Thursday’s conference. Mr. Musk was not hostile and appeared to have a vision for the product, irrespective of not being equipped to enunciate it plainly at occasions, they reported. Many others mentioned he experienced not addressed their issues, with a single staff crafting in an inner Slack message, which was seen by The Moments, that “if you took a drink just about every time he answered a question, you’d be painfully sober at the conclude of this.”
Mr. Musk was noncommittal when questioned if he prepared to suppose the chief govt position at Twitter when he took over the enterprise. He explained he was not a standard C.E.O. and pointed to his title at Tesla, which is Technoking. But he also noted that he had many strategies for product updates and how the provider ought to evolve, and that he would make these recognised to other individuals in just the enterprise.
“I do expect that they will listen to me in this regard,” Mr. Musk stated.
Ryan Mac and Lauren Hirsch contributed reporting.