More than 1,100 Twitter employees have left the company since Elon Musk announced that he bought enough Twitter stock (NYSE:TWTR) to represent slightly over 9% stake in the company and intended to buy the rest to take it private. 530 of those employees left just in the past quarter, according to data from LinkedIn that was collated by members of the executive networking site Punks & Pinstripes.
But that’s okay. Other Big Tech companies are hiring. Meta and Google snapped up 30% of the employees who left Twitter. Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snap, and TikTok also hired dozens of former Twitter employees. Several other former Twitter employees started working for smaller startups.
So it’s no big deal if they quit because they can easily find a job elsewhere, according to Punks & Pinstripes’ Greg Larkin, who helped generate the report on Twitter employees’ departures.
“The bottom line here is that the uncertainty being generated by the fight between Elon Musk and Twitter is driving a lot of their top talent to other social media platforms,” Larkin told Business Insider.
One Twitter employee dished on why co-workers don’t want to work for Musk in the below video:
Musk to Close Deal by Friday
Elon Musk has been somewhat on-again, off-again about actually buying Twitter, but will likely close the deal by October 28, 2022. A court had ordered him to close by Friday, though neither Musk nor Twitter have indicated whether it’s gone through yet.
The uncertainty hasn’t stopped Musk from strolling around Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters carrying around a kitchen sink. For real. He posted video of it on Twitter.
Musk Plans Layoffs Anyway
Musk indicated that he plans to lay off as many as 75% of Twitter’s 7,500-employee workforce. Some of the employees he planned to lay off have likely already handed in their resignations.
Musk is actually heading up an investment group in this acquisition deal. He also has commitments from financial institutions like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America to finance it, though his shenanigans and economic changes likely made them less attractive.
For all that, his background activity indicates that he is interested in actually going through with the deal. He sold $15 billion in Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) to help fund his share of the deal. Tesla shares have dropped by a considerable amount since Musk started publicly flirting with buying Twitter and currently sits at $224.
What Does Musk Plan for Twitter?
Musk previously called himself a champion for free speech, indicating that he could loosen restrictions on what can be posted on Twitter. He even hinted that he might give Donald Trump his Twitter account back even though Trump was originally suspended over statements he made leading up to the riot of January 6, 2021.
Trump, of course, insulted Musk when Musk seemed to show signs of cold feet with actually going through with the deal. Musk shot back that Trump should sit out the 2024 presidential election, calling him “too old” to hold the office of POTUS. He also suggested capping the president’s age at 69 years old.
Musk tried to put the deal on hold in July, saying the company hadn’t kept its obligation to provide data on the “bot” accounts that riddle the social media platform. He hasn’t said whether the hacking of his and several other prominent Twitter accounts to spread a crypto scam was a lingering sore point, though it could remain in the back of his head.
However, Twitter’s board of directors – which had initially been hesitant to accept the offer of $54.20 per share – promptly filed a lawsuit to force him to keep up his end of the deal.
Musk hinted that he could use Twitter to accelerate the creation of an “everything app” that he calls “X.”
No one really knows what “X” will be. Musk had previously praised the Tencent-owned app WeChat, which enables services like ordering cars and food delivery – and payments.
“You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so useful and so helpful to your daily life,” Elon Musk said in a leaked transcript of Musk’s initial meeting with Twitter employees. But? “There’s no WeChat movement outside of China.”
That opens up an opportunity for Twitter to form the base of a similar app. Texts that were made public through legal proceedings indicate that Musk texted his brother, Kimbal, about “an idea for a blockchain social media system that does both payments and short text messages/links like Twitter.”
He also mentioned that X could charge a small fee per post – possibly in his favorite cryptocurrency, Dogecoin. However, he backed off that idea due to possible performance issues. A blockchain-based app can become slow and clunky if it has to process a lot of data. For a blockchain-based digital asset like Bitcoin or Ethereum, severe congestion can also cause transaction fees to soar in a bad way.
X could be a reference to an early Elon Musk-founded financial services company called X.com, which merged with PayPal.
No one really knows what form a future Twitter-based “X app” might take beyond a few hints dropped by Elon Musk.
Former Twitter employees expressed their own uncertainty about the future of Twitter while on their way out the door. They worried that Musk might give a platform back to the likes of Trump or Kanye West. The latter was suspended over anti-Semitic messages he had posted. They may have simply saved Musk the trouble of laying them off – and certainly had no trouble finding jobs at other Big Tech firms.