- Twitter staff were swamped by Elon Musk’s board seat drama, calling it a “sh-t show”, per Bloomberg.
- Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal warned of “distractions ahead” even though Musk is no longer seeking a board seat.
- Employees expressed concern over whether Musk was a friendly or hostile investor.
Twitter employees are calling Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk’s board seat drama a “sh-t show,” Bloomberg reported on Monday, quoting several unnamed employees.
In early April, Musk purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter — making him the company’s largest shareholder.
Following the purchase, Twitter invited Musk to join its board of directors, with the caveat that he not purchase more than 14.9% of the company’s shares.
But on Sunday, Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal announced that Musk had abruptly decided to remain off the board.
That led some Twitter employees to wonder if Musk was biding his time for a future power grab. His decision to stay off the board leaves him free to acquire the company. And that could spell real trouble for Twitter, say experts.
“This decision by Elon does not bode well for Twitter,” social media consultant Matt Navarra told Bloomberg. “Twitter thought having Trump on the platform was tough. Elon Musk is going to be a corporate nightmare.”
In response to the chaos around Musk’s plans for Twitter, CEO Agarwal warned employees in an internal note of possible “distractions ahead,” Bloomberg reported. Some employees told the outlet they were “super stressed” and “working together to help each other get through the week.”
The comments to Bloomberg were of a piece with previous statements made by employees. Last week, some Twitter employees took to the platform to express frustration and disappointment over Musk’s planned board seat, citing some of Musk’s past offensive comments and controversial viewpoints, Insider reported.
On April 9, an employee wrote an internal
message questioning Musk’s conduct.
“Quick question: If an employee tweeted some of the things Elon tweets, they’d likely be the subject” of an HR investigation, one employee asked, The Washington Post reported. “Are board members held to the same standard?”
That prompted Argawal to announce a Q&A session with Musk, which was swiftly canceled following the news that he was no longer planning to take a board seat.
Some employees said they worried over Musk’s plans for Twitter, some of which he appeared to share on the platform this past week.
On April 4, the day of his stock purchase, Musk tweeted a poll asking his 81.4 million followers if they wanted an “edit” button added to Twitter.
Days later, on April 7, he posted a meme seeming to ridicule himself and Twitter’s board:
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 7, 2022
But despite Musk’s comical take on his increased involvement with the platform, analysts are taking him quite seriously.
“We believe his communication to the firm, other shareholders, and the platform’s 217 million daily active users could affect Twitter’s long-term strategy,” Ali Mogharabi, an analyst with Morningstar, told Insider’s Kali Hays.
Among those who should be most concerned is Agarwal. Musk has openly said he disagreed with the Twitter CEO’s appointment and in December shared a now-deleted tweet comparing Agarwal — who favors more content moderation — to Stalin.