In First Address to Twitter Staff, Musk Warns of 80-Hour Weeks

He also discussed plans for platform to offer financial services, spoke of bankruptcy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2022 5:37 AM CST
Musk Tells Employees Twitter Bankruptcy Is Possible
A receptionist works in the lobby of the building that houses the Twitter office in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Elon Musk warned of possible bankruptcy Thursday when he addressed Twitter employees for the first time since taking over the company, insiders say. The Verge says it has obtained a recording of the session, in which Musk took questions from employees and discussed offering banking services through Twitter. He said that if Twitter fails to bring in more money than it spends "and there’s a massive negative cash flow, then bankruptcy is not out of the question," per the Verge. He also restated his position on remote working, saying, "If you can show up in an office and you do not show up at the office: resignation accepted. End of story."

Musk also warned that employees should prepare for 80-hour workweeks and the end of perks like free food, Bloomberg reports. Musk's $44 billion buyout of Twitter saddled the company with almost $13 billion in debt, which is being held by Wall Street banks that are now expecting major losses. According to Bloomberg's sources, hedge funds have been offering as little as 60 cents on the dollar to banks seeking to offload the debt, though banks are unwilling to sell at less than 70 cents. Moody's Investors Service has cut Twitter's credit rating, saying the company's "governance risk is highly negative reflecting Moody’s expectation for aggressive financial policies and concentrated ownership by Elon Musk."

Musk told employees that he recently sold Tesla stock to "keep Twitter alive. And the reason that we are going hardcore with subscribers is to keep Twitter alive," per the Verge's recording. He discussed numerous possible changes to Twitter, telling employees: "Just try weird stuff. It’s nothing ventured, nothing gained. If we’re too cautious, then how we do make revolutionary improvements?" When discussing his plan to provide financial services, he proposed issuing debit cards to users and turning Twitter into "the people’s financial institution." Asked if this would include issuing loans, he said, "Well, if you want to provide a comprehensive service to people, then you can’t be missing key elements," per the recording. (Several privacy and security execs resigned from Twitter Thursday.)

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