If you are still working at Twitter, good luck to you because your new boss has many expectations of you and your colleagues.
It has barely been two weeks since Elon Musk took over Twitter, and he has already removed 7,500 employees.
His rationale is that the social media company was running a negative cash flow of several billion dollars, indicating that Twitter is running at a loss.
Musk has even resorted to selling four billion dollars of Tesla shares in order to save Twitter according to regulatory filings this week.
So you think his first email to his employees would be positive and filled with motivational quotes?
Details of the Email
To make his remaining employees more “hard-core”, he has listed a few rules in his first email to Twitter employees on Wednesday.
Musk started off his email by writing, “The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed.”
Now if I were a Twitter employee, I would be scared too.
Musk also mentioned in the email that the employees must work in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week.
Readers: Wait, isn’t this about the same hours that we Singaporeans work?
Prior to Musk’s takeover of the company, Twitter employees were telecommuting especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, they were given the choice of where they want to live rather than remaining in cities where the company’s offices existed.
Earlier this year, in an all-hands call Musk held with Twitter staff after announcing to buy the company, he had mentioned his strong opposition against work from home and would only grant that as an exception.
So Twitter staff, no more rolling off your bed five minutes before to do work in your comfortable pyjamas.
Musk has also stated in the email that he wants to see subscriptions contribute to half of its revenue.
As of now, Twitter earns about 90% of its revenue through advertising and some of the advertisers are backing away recently due to uncertainties over Musk’s commitment to remove toxic content from the platform.
To boost revenue from subscriptions, he has upped the price of Twitter Blue, a subscription service, by 67% to eight dollars a month.
“Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn,” he wrote in his email.
In another email, he added that “over the next few days, the absolute top priority is finding and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam.”
Will Twitter be Put at Risk?
On Thursday, cybersecurity expert Alex Stamos tweeted that there is a “serious risk of a breach with drastically reduced staff” which can put the company at odds with the Federal Trade Commission’s 2011 settlement regarding the privacy practices at the company.
Indeed, with Musk putting pressure on his employees to speed up their work, the employees may resort to “self-certifying” so that their project meets privacy requirements, therefore putting their profession and the company at risk.
I.e. take shoutcuts lah
“We are tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern,” Douglas Farrar, a spokesman for the F.T.C., said in a statement.
“No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees. Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we are prepared to use them,” he added.
Twitter is Not the Only One
It seems that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has taken inspiration from Elon Musk as the company has just laid off 11,000 employees, which is about 13% of its workforce.
“Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected,” Zuckerberg said in a message to employees.
“I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,” Mr Zuckerberg said.
Well Zuckerberg, you are not the one getting fired here, isn’t it?
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