Twitter employees criticized Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media giant at an emergency company meeting, telling executives “the PR pitch isn’t landing.”
CEO Parag Agrawal held a company-wide town hall meeting on Friday, heard by Reuterswhere concerned employees questioned whether their jobs would be secure once the Tesla businessman takes control.
Reports of unease within the Silicon Valley firm have increased since Musk reached a deal to buy back the company on Monday.
The world’s richest man has agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion ($54.20 cash per share) and took the company private in a shocking deal that has divided opinion around the world.
Hundreds of thousands of users have already left the platform in protest, as questions grow over whether Musk will allow banned people like Donald Trump to come back online.
Musk fueled speculation that the banned accounts could make a comeback in his statement following the deal announcement.
“Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital public square where vital issues for the future of humanity are debated,” he said.
It has since emerged, in a report from the Wall Street Journalthat a close associate of Musk has already told far-right activist Charles Johnson that he can get his account back when the Tesla boss takes the helm.
Johnson was banned from Twitter in 2015 after he raised funds on the site to “take down” a Black Lives Matter activist.
When asked when he might return to Twitter, he was reportedly told, “Hopefully soon.”
In the days since the sale was announced, Musk has also lashed out at Twitter’s top executives on the platform, prompting an outpouring of criticism of the firm’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde.
At Friday’s meeting, angry staff members spoke out against the sale and demanded answers from the company about how it would respond to an anticipated mass exodus of staff. Reuters informed.
Mr. Agrawal tried to reassure employees that there had not been a major exodus so far after the announcement, but that the company would be monitoring the situation.
Another employee raised concerns about job security following reports that Musk is already considering job cuts and pay cuts for executives and board members.
“I’m tired of hearing about shareholder value and fiduciary duty. What are your honest thoughts on the very high probability that many employees will be out of work after the deal closes? the clerk asked.
The CEO responded that Twitter had always cared about its employees and that he believes the company “will continue to care about its impact on the world and its customers” in the future.
Despite attempts to allay employee concerns, one employee said Reuters that the workforce has no faith in the executives’ message.
“The public relations speech is not landing,” they said.
“We were told not to leak and to do work we were proud of, but there is no clear incentive for employees to do this.”