Ever since Twitter’s board of directors agreed to a $44 billion buyout offer from Elon Musk, the future of the social media platform has fallen under a shadow of uncertainty. Following the billionaire’s takeover deal, thousands of Twitter users deactivated their accounts. The drop was evidenced by prominent users like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Barack Obama losing followers within days of the announcement. Now, the micro-blogging site fears a possible employee exodus before the Tesla CEO takes over entirely.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Twitter warned that it may lose key employees and have difficulty replacing them before it closes the $44 billion sale. The social media giant also said it could have trouble holding onto advertisers due to concern over the company’s uncertain future. “During the period before the closing of the merger, our business is exposed to certain inherent risks and certain restrictions under the terms of the Merger Agreement that could harm our business relationships, financial condition, operating results, cash flows, and business,” the filing said.
However, the main focus of the filing was Twitter’s inability to retain key employees and recruit new ones. The California-based company is also worried that current staff members could be distracted, due to uncertainty regarding the merger, resulting in declined productivity. While the risks listed in the court filing could have varying outcomes, the concern about employee retention is not without merit. The statements come amid reports of severe employee discontent about Musk buying the company.
Last week, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal even held an emergency meeting to quell employees’ unhappiness about the impending takeover. The company-wide gathering gave staff a platform to ask questions and receive feedback regarding management’s plans to handle an anticipated mass exodus. According to Reuters, the meeting was a result of Musk’s repeated criticism of the social media site’s moderation practices and the executive responsible for setting speech and safety policies.
At the internal town hall meeting, Twitter executives said they would monitor employee attrition closely. But it was too soon to predict how the Tesla CEO’s buyout deal would affect staff retention. It’s not surprising that folks within the company are worried. Within days of his acquisition, Musk pitched lenders on cutting board and executive salaries. However, the figures he has in mind remain unclear, Reuters said. Sources also revealed that the 50-year-old would not make decisions on job cuts until he assumes ownership of Twitter.
Meanwhile, Musk says his vision for Twitter is to create a social platform that is as broadly inclusive as possible. He also said Musk also said getting rid of bots, trolls, and scams was a top priority because it’s diminishing the user experience. When asked about the potential exodus of Twitter employees at the Met Gala in New York, Musk said it’s a free country. He added that if anyone doesn’t feel comfortable, they will “on their own accord” go somewhere else. With an average of 39.6 million daily active local users and 189.4 million globally, the Tesla boss said he is buying the social media site to protect free speech. The purchase is pending shareholder approval and is expected to close later this year, ARSTechnica reports.