Musk appeared by video call 10 minutes late to what turned out to be a Q&A moderated by a Twitter executive, in which Musk pondered the existence of aliens and other space civilizations and his view that Twitter should help “civilization and conscience”. .”
Tesla’s chief executive, who is also CEO of rocket company SpaceX, told Twitter staff he wanted to increase the number of service users from 229 million to at least 1 billion people and said that advertising would remain important to the company, although he previously said he believed Twitter should not run ads, according to audio of the meeting heard by Reuters.
“I think advertising is very important to Twitter,” Musk said. “I’m not against advertising. I would probably talk to advertisers and say, ‘hey, let’s just make sure the ads are as entertaining as possible.'”
Musk, who was expected to provide reassurance to Twitter employees in his first meeting, did not provide an update on reaching the deal.
He reiterated that he was still trying to find out more about bot and spam accounts on Twitter, which he called his biggest concern.
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In response to a question about whether he expected any layoffs, Musk said there needed to be “some rationalization of headcount and expenses.”
“Right now the costs are exceeding the revenues,” he said, adding that “anyone who is…a significant contributor shouldn’t have to worry.”
Twitter employees took to an internal Slack channel en masse during the session, posting memes and complaining that Musk was not providing helpful answers about his vision for the company and employee compensation.
They also asked Slack for the moderator to press Musk on his views on remote working, as Twitter currently allows employees to work remotely or in the office.
Musk said he thinks Twitter staff should lean toward working in an office, but expressed a willingness to make a few exceptions. The bias should be “strongly in favor of in-person work, but if someone is exceptional, remote work may be acceptable,” he said.
The impending takeover of Twitter has sparked widespread skepticism and concern among employees of the San Francisco-based company, some of whom fear Musk will relax rules on certain content.
The billionaire told Twitter staff he believes users should be allowed to say “pretty outrageous things” on the site as long as the content isn’t illegal.
Twitter shares fell 1.5% and Tesla shares fell more than 9% in afternoon trading.
Musk answered the call wearing a white shirt and appeared to be sitting in a kitchen, according to a source who watched the call.
When he turned off his video at the end of the Q&A, his avatar appeared to be two hands shaped like the number 69, an apparent reference to a sexual position, the source said.