Twitter employees raise questions about Musk takeover in all-hands meeting
Twitter employees asked questions at Monday’s all hands meeting, which was chaired by Bret Taylor and CEO Parag Agrwal. The call audio from the conference, obtained by SME, focuses on everything, including what the deal would mean in terms of their compensation as well as how former US President Donald Trump will be allowed back onto the platform.
After Twitter’s board on Monday announced that they had made a deal with Musk to buy the company for $54.20 pershare, this call is being received. The deal caps off a stunning news cycle in which the Tesla and SpaceX CEO became one of Twitter’s largest shareholders, was offered and turned down a seat on its board and bid to buy the company — all in less than a month — and puts the world’s richest man in charge of one of the most influential social networks. The deal raises many questions as to how Musk’s changes, which include loosening content restrictions for the platform.
Agrawal has only been on Twitter for four months and told Twitter employees to not expect major changes until the deal closes. This is expected to occur before the year ends. Agrawal stated, “There are no plans for any layoffs currently” and said that Twitter’s remote working policies would continue until the deal closes.
“Between now closing,… we continue to make decisions as we’ve always made and guided by the principles that we’ve held,” he stated. Things have changed, but that doesn’t mean they won’t change. Positive change has been a goal of mine for some time. I intend to continue talking about it because it improves our company and makes us stronger. After the deal is closed, it’s possible to make other decisions.
Agrawal stated that Twitter’s leadership will seek to make time for employees asking questions to Musk directly. Agrawal said that he would like to meet Musk, and that he will inform him about the principles behind Twitter’s decision-making.
In response to the question about whether Trump’s account — which was removed from Twitter early last year for violating its policies on inciting violence following the Capitol Riot — would be restored on the platform, Agrawal told staff that is something they should ask Musk and said, “Once the deal closes, we will know what direction the platform will go.”
Musk’s purchase of Twitter by an employee was questioned about the implications it might have for Twitter’s “commitment towards responsible, ethical” artificial intelligence and machine-learning. The worker said that they were industry leaders and had attracted many of the most talented minds. However, it appears that their values do not align with those of new owners.
Agrawal said that such work was “critical” for Twitter’s ability to provide customer service and added, “We need to keep doing this work.”
Some employees also wanted to know what Musk’s purchase could mean for attrition and retention. This deal is coming at a moment when the labor market has been experiencing increased competition, particularly in tech.
Agrawal explained that this is a time of uncertainty. There are many emotions and opinions about this news. A lot of people have concerns, and some are thrilled. However, there are many who are eager to find out how the situation unfolds and keep an open mind. We won’t lose the essence of Twitter’s power, which is everyone working in the best interests of customers each day, if we cooperate.
Agrawal stated that he is optimism about the company’s future during the conference call.
Agrawal stated, “The way that I see it… he wants Twitter to be a positive, powerful force in the world just as all of us.”
Musk, for his part, stated Monday in a statement that “free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy” and said Twitter was the place where vital issues to humanity’s future are being debated. Musk stated that Twitter had tremendous potential. He said that it was a great platform and that he is looking forward to working alongside the company as well as the users in order to unleash its full potential.