Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal sought to assuage employee anger at a company-wide meeting, where workers demanded answers on how officials planned to handle an anticipated mass exodus prompted by Elon Musk’s public remarks.
- Employees ask Twitter executives about possible staff exodus
- Executives say the attrition rate hasn’t changed since Elon Musk’s interest in buying the company became public knowledge
- Workers also fear Mr. Musk’s erratic behavior could hurt Twitter financially
The meeting comes after Mr. Musk, the chief executive of Tesla who struck a $44 billion ($61.4 billion) deal to buy the social media company, repeatedly criticized Tesla’s moderation practices. Twitter content and a senior executive responsible for setting speech and safety policies.
At the internal town hall meeting, which was heard by Reuters, executives said the company would monitor staff attrition daily, but it was too early to say how the takeover deal with Mr Musk would affect retention Staff.
Mr. Musk has offered lenders to dramatically cut directors’ and executives’ salaries, but the exact cost reductions remain unclear, according to people familiar with the matter.
A source said Mr Musk would not make a decision on the job cuts until he owns Twitter.
“I’m tired of hearing about shareholder value and fiduciary duty. What do you honestly think of the very high probability that many employees will not have jobs after the transaction is completed? a Twitter employee asked Mr. Agrawal, in a question read aloud during the meeting.
Mr. Agrawal replied that Twitter has always cared about its employees and will continue to do so.
“I believe the future Twitter organization will continue to care about its impact on the world and its customers,” he said.
Executives told the meeting that the employee attrition rate had not changed, compared with levels prior to news of Mr. Musk’s interest in buying the company.
In recent days, Mr. Musk has tweeted criticism of Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, who is a Twitter veteran and widely respected in Silicon Valley.
Musk’s attack sparked a barrage of online harassment targeting her.
Employees also told executives they fear Mr. Musk’s erratic behavior could destabilize Twitter’s business and hurt it financially as the company prepares to address the advertising world during a presentation next week in New York.
Sarah Personette, Twitter’s chief customer officer, said the company is working to communicate frequently with advertisers and reassure them “the way we serve our customers isn’t changing.”
After the meeting, a Twitter employee told Reuters there was little trust in what company executives were saying.
“The public relations talk isn’t landing. They told us not to run away and to do a job you’re proud of, but there’s no clear incentive for employees to do that,” the employee told Reuters, noting that employee pay not executive is now capped due to the agreement.
Mr Agrawal is set to receive $42million if he is made redundant within 12 months of a change in control at the social media company, according to research firm Equilar.
During the meeting, Mr Agrawal urged staff to expect change in the future under new management and acknowledged that the business could have performed better over the years.
“Yes, we could have done things differently, and better. I could have done things differently. I think about it a lot,” he said.
Twitter declined further comment.