Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has the Midas touch when it comes to making money, and within hours of taking over Twitter, he began making his mark.
Here are five things the world’s richest man hates most about Twitter that he wants to change.
1.) Job Bloat
Replying to a tweeted question on what was “most messed up at Twitter,” Musk responded Sunday that “there seem to be 10 people managing for every one person coding.”
After closing on the deal last Thursday, Musk immediately began cleaning house, beginning with the dismissal of Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal. Over the weekend, a few directors and vice presidents got the axe, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
Other executives were asked to make lists of reports who could potentially be cut. On product teams, Musk bid senior personnel to reduce 50% of their headcount. Engineers and directors are now reviewing those lists.
Software engineers are being ranked by their contribution to Twitter code.
Nov. 1 is a key date for many employees, which is when their stock vests. Some are expected to leave shortly after they cash out, even at the risk of forsaking severance.
2.) Uninspiring Leadership
While becoming the chief executive officer and sole director of Twitter, after having sacked Agrawal and sent the entire Twitter board of directors packing, Musk is sharp enough to know he will need help.
The bombastic billionaire has created a trusted inner circle of experienced private equity and venture capitalist investors, fellow entrepreneurs and former Twitter execs. Musk’s first aim is to develop a new product management strategy.
Musk has been meeting with David Sachs, experienced at VC and a former friend from his PayPal days. He has also turned to Jason Calacanis, a friend and investor; and Sriram Krishnan, a former Twitter executive and partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. While it is unknown whether Calacanis or Krishnan will become Twitter directors, they have Twitter email addresses, Bloomberg reports.
Another possible member of Musk’s advisory council could be Kayvon Baykpour, the former chief of Twitter product development who Agrawal fired earlier this year. Baykpour was seen at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters shortly after the deal closed.
3.) No Video App
Musk is considering reviving short video application Vine, which Twitter acquired in 2012. Before Twitter shut it down in 2016, it minted a few internet stars and was copied by ByteDance’s TikTok, Instagram’s Reel’s and YouTube’s Shorts.
A number of Twitter employees have reportedly volunteered to work on the Vine team, ostensibly to save their jobs.
To be compatible with 2022 systems, the entire Vine code will reportedly need to be rewritten.
4.) Inconsistent Verification
Musk wants to verify the identify of all users and charge them for the blue-check verification. He has tasked a team with developing this software within seven days or lose their jobs if they fail to achieve this goal.
5.) Content Moderation
When Musk first indicated he wanted to acquire Twitter, he cited the importance of free speech and having a digital town square. While it is not clear how he can impartially and fairly moderate content, Meta has said it would like to work with Twitter on this Herculean task.
Musk is holding off on any decision about reinstating users who have been banned from Twitter until he can consult with a group of outside experts.
However, Twitter employees tell Bloomberg Musk would like Twitter’s misinformation policy to be more specific on hot-button topics, such as election outcomes and COVID-19. Musk is also looking into Twitter’s hateful online conduct policy.
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