The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, said that he does not want to be the CEO of any company, despite taking over as the chief executive at Twitter after buying the company. In order to defend himself in a shareholder lawsuit challenging a compensation package he was awarded by Tesla’s board of directors that is potentially worth more than $55 billion, the billionaire took the witness stand in a Delaware court.
According to multiple media reports, Musk, who also heads SpaceX and Tesla, said this while testifying: “I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time.”
The remaining staff at Twitter received an email from Musk overnight, in which he says that it is a software and servers company at its heart and he asked employees to decide by Thursday evening if they want to remain a part of the business, reported US News.
To build “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0,” employees “will need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk wrote, while also adding that long hours at high intensity will be needed for success.
Twitter will be much more engineering-driven, Musk said, with employees who write “great code” comprising the majority of the team.
Musk fired much of Twitter’s full-time workforce by an email earlier in November, as in late October he completed the $44 billion takeover of the San Francisco company, and is now expected to eliminate an untold number of contract jobs for those responsible for fighting misinformation and other harmful content. While also a number of engineers said on Twitter that after they said something critical of Musk, either publicly on Twitter or on an internal messaging board for Twitter employees, they were fired recently.
From almost all sides, the billionaire has been criticized for potentially opening the gates at Twitter to hate and other harmful speech, as Musk has vowed to ease restrictions on what users can say on the platform. Musk has tried to reassure advertisers, which drive most of the social platform’s revenue, that any rule changes will not damage their brands by associating them with harmful content.
Twitter’s premium service is still in Musk’s plans to be resumed on November 29, as he indicated, which grants blue-check “verification” labels to anyone willing to pay $8 a month.
The relaunch would take place later this month in an effort to make sure the service is “rock solid,” Musk said in a tweet.
If the workers want to be part of the “new Twitter,” Musk asked them to click yes on a link provided in the email, by 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. According to the email, employees who don’t reply by that time will receive three months of severance.
“Whatever decision you make, thank you for your efforts to make Twitter successful,” wrote Musk at the end of the email.