Elon Musk, captain of a sinking ship

“The future is so exciting, I can’t wait to make it happen with you,” the new boss said Thursday at the start of an internal meeting, for employees who were not dismissed during the mass layoffs. a week ago But the threat of bankruptcy emerged when he later admitted he didn’t know how badly the business would be “underperforming” next year.

“It could be in a cash flow deficit of billions,” he said, based on messages between employees. In an internal letter the day before, he wrote to them that the path would be “laborious”, and that they would now have to “be in person in the office at least 40 hours a week”.

Employees also asked him about the risks associated with rapidly deploying new, untested features, the preferred method of the Tesla and SpaceX boss.

Because the US Competition Agency (FTC) issued a rare warning against the platform on Thursday: “We are following recent developments on Twitter with great concern. No CEO or company is above the law,” said an FTC spokesperson. He recalled that the platform risks a large fine if it does not comply with the rules of an agreement reached with the agency on data security and confidentiality.

“Not boring”

However, many employees aware of these regulations no longer exist on Twitter. The boss of Tesla and SpaceX laid off half of the company’s 7,500 employees in California last week, ten days after buying it and becoming its sole master on the board.

Hundreds of people have left this summer, and executive resignations have continued in recent days. On Thursday, Damien Kieran, data privacy manager, and Lea Kissner, security manager, announced their departures.

Other directors also decided to step aside, including Yoel Roth, “former head of trust and safety” on Twitter, as his profile from Thursday evening showed. He has intervened several times in recent days to clarify the changes or to ensure that the fight against disinformation remains a “top priority”.

Robin Wheeler, an executive in charge of customer solutions, whose departure was announced by the American media, however tweeted on Thursday night: “I’m still here”.

Memes (funny pictures) that refer to the chaos and panic that abounded on the platform. Elon Musk, he reiterated in the will that content moderation, a safeguard against abuse of the platform, is intact. He claimed on Thursday that Twitter usage “continues to grow”, adding, “One thing is for sure: it’s not boring.”

“Save Twitter”

But his rash decisions and rants on Twitter have been a source of daily controversy for two weeks, worrying many authorities, advertisers, users and minority groups.

Some advertisers have suspended their spending on the highly influential social network, whose economic model depends 90% on advertising. Insider Intelligence lowered its forecast for Twitter’s advertising revenue by 39% in 2023 and 2024.

Elon Musk wants to diversify revenue sources, from subscriptions for users to content creation tools for influencers. But Wednesday’s sensational launch of Twitter Blue, the new $8-a-month formula for verifying one’s account, has resulted in conflicting official statements and an explosion of fake profiles.

“Please remember that Twitter will do a lot of stupid things in the coming months. We will keep what works and change what doesn’t,” the multi-billionaire tweeted. At the beginning of the week, he sold nearly $4 billion worth of shares at his flagship Tesla. “I did it to save Twitter,” he told employees Thursday.

Elon Musk wanted to buy the California company in the spring, then he didn’t want it in the summer, and forced to acquire it in the fall to avoid a lawsuit, by putting it heavily in debt.

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