lon musk says he has fired up to 80% of Twitter workforce since buying the business last year after he admitted he only agreed to the takeover because a judge allegedly forced him to.
In a twisted and far-reaching two-hour interview with the BBC, set up minutes in advance, the billionaire You’re here The boss said the social media site’s workforce had been cut from just under 8,000 to around 1,500 in a bid to accelerate the company’s profitability, a move he called “painful ‘ and ‘not fun at all’.
Musk said Twitter had been run “really like a non-profit…spending money like it was out of fashion” which sparked a cash crunch that meant he didn’t. had more than “four months to live”.
The billionaire said the company was now breaking even and insisted advertisers were returning to the platform after abandoning it en masse last year, but declined to give examples of companies who had returned.
“It hasn’t been boring. It’s been a roller coaster,” he told the BBC, adding that “the level of pain has been extremely high, it hasn’t been any kind of party.”
He said it had been “a really, really stressful situation over the past few months…I sometimes sleep in the office”.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Musk is still trying to convince advertisers and encourage companies to pay for verified blue ticks, while facing accusations that he has become more toxic and a space where companies might not want to advertise their products.
“Musk says they’re coming back, and the platform is now roughly breaking even, but given that buying Twitter was such an expensive gamble, it’s clear his roller coaster ride is still on. course.”
Musk reluctantly agreed to take Twitter private in October last year in a $44 billion deal. He joined the board in April after acquiring a large stake in the company and initially offered to acquire it before backtracking on his proposal, citing concerns about the number of bots and troll accounts on the platform. form.
Twitter’s board then began legal proceedings to force the deal, pushing Musk to sell a large chunk of his Tesla stock to help fund his acquisition, as well as taking out billions of dollars in loans. Part of the social media giant’s cash load is tied to servicing that debt.
Despite reports that Twitter users have been frustrated with the changes to the site, Musk insisted traffic was growing and said he wouldn’t be ready to sell the social media site, even if it were. offered him the same amount of cash that he had paid.
“Were there a lot of mistakes along the way? Sure. But all’s well that ends well, I feel like we’re headed to a good place.”