Longtime Musk partners David Sacks and Jason Calacanis appeared in a corporate directory over the weekend, according to photos obtained by the Washington Post. Both had official company emails and their titles were “staff software engineer”. Musk’s title in the directory was CEO, but that position has not been made public. He refers to himself as the “Chief Twit”.
Meanwhile, the team was deciding what initial layoffs would be that would target about a quarter of the staff, totaling more than 7,000, according to one of the people. The person said the layoffs will affect almost all departments and are expected to affect sales, product, engineering, legal, trust and safety in the coming days in particular. According to documents viewed by The Post, some of Twitter’s highest paid employees after engineers work in sales, with many earning more than $300,000.
Twitter, Musk, Spiro, Sacks and Calacanis did not respond to requests for comment.
The billionaire Tesla owner bought Twitter for $44 billion last week, after months of grueling negotiations and legal wrangling. Musk first submitted a bid for the company in the spring, then tried to withdraw months later. Twitter sued him to force him to complete the deal, and eventually the entrepreneur agreed and offered to buy the company at the original bid price.
Musk turned to a few longtime allies as he began overhauling Twitter.
A conservative zealot and donor, Sacks has worked with Musk since the days when they ran PayPal together two decades ago. sacks sent strong ideas critical of online content moderation and Big Tech’s censorship.
According to court records, Calacanis is also a longtime friend of Musk, who frequently texted him to advise on the deal, including layoffs.
calacanis tweeted out Saturday was “Zero Day” alongside a photo of a Twitter coffee mug, adding that he had discussed security issues with bots and trolls with Yoel Roth, a Twitter executive responsible for content moderation policy. Roth later published details on these policies.
On Sunday, Musk posted blatant internal messages from Roth about Twitter metrics, alleging that they “deliberately … withheld evidence from the court” to Twitter’s board and lawyers. The tweet showed Musk potentially using his newly acquired access to internal information to pin points.
I met Yoel today from twitter security and as a long time twitter user I was amazed by her dedication and perspective on security issues.
I asked him to open the issue directly to users. This topic is well worth your time and magnification. https://t.co/ocoBjflOqM
— firstname.lastname@example.org (@Jason) 30 October 2022
The new leadership team is asking questions about every aspect of the business, including content moderation, spam, and the risks of upcoming elections.
Sriram Krishnan, a cryptocurrency-focused partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, tweeted about his involvement, and another Musk partner also tweeted that he helped deal with the deal. The company invested $400 million.
Less than three days into Musk’s possession, Twitter employees were in the dark about any new plans for the company as of Sunday evening, according to several employees contacted by The Post who spoke about the anonymity requirement to protect their jobs. The company has yet to make an official statement about the acquisition. The communications department remained silent. Rumors about layoffs are swirling, while some notices are quietly rolling out.
The layoffs are expected to begin before November. 1, when Twitter employees are scheduled to receive additional compensation related to stock grants. On Sunday, Musk tweeted on Twitter next week that the news about the upcoming layoffs was “false”.
According to interviews and documents obtained by The Post, Musk told potential partners earlier this year that Twitter plans to cut about 75 percent of its total workforce, which will leave the company with about 2,000 employees. When Musk visited Twitter’s headquarters last week, he told employees he did not plan to cut three-quarters of its workforce.
Another person familiar with the deal, who spoke last week about the anonymity requirement to discuss sensitive issues, said the total number of layoffs would likely be closer to 50 percent.
Musk has already fired four senior executives, sent Tesla engineers to review Twitter’s software code, and tweeted that he plans to set up a content moderation expert council.
Meanwhile, Musk, demonstrating the difficulties of his new mission, tweeted content from a site that is known to post false information this weekend.
On Saturday, former first lady and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton posted and tweeted Criticizing the GOP for spreading “hate and unstable conspiracy theories” earlier Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said her husband, Paul, encouraged the man who attacked the couple’s San Francisco home.
“There may be more to this story than meets the eye,” Musk wrote in response to the tweet, sharing a link to an article on the Santa Monica Observer site. specification seen as a low-credibility source supporting the far-right by confirmers. The article references a conspiracy theory that has spread to the right before, claiming, without proof, that Paul Pelosi was drunk and had a fight with a male prostitute. Other right-wing influencers with whom Musk interacted online also reinforced the conspiratorial narrative.
Musk’s actions, which have since removed the tweet, show that Twitter has a particularly sophisticated way of navigating Musk’s public actions and framing it with what he says privately.
Rachel Lerman contributed to this report.
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