Musk says Twitter breaking even, dishes on cutting staff after ‘painful’ takeover of social media giant

Elon Musk discussed his “painful” takeover of Twitter and the thousands of employees who he sent packing as well as the adjustment to running the tech giant, including sleeping on the couch at the San Francisco-based company’s headquarters, in a wide-ranging interview with the BBC that was streamed live on Twitter Spaces on Tuesday night.

The billionaire SpaceX/Tesla CEO and self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” sat down with the British media outlet’s James Clayton for a rare, in-depth discussion that came together quickly after the BBC protested being labeled as “government-funded media” on the platform.

(Video: YouTube)

“It’s not been boring. It’s quite a rollercoaster,” the world’s wealthiest man told the reporter of life since his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter last year, a deal that infuriated Democrats and their leftist allies who exploded after losing their ability to control the narrative after the self-described “free speech absolutist” took over and cleaned house, immediately firing the heads of the prior regime including CEO Parag Agrawal and chief censor Vijaya Gadde while restoring banned accounts and opening the company’s dealings up to transparency as seen with the ongoing release of the Twitter files.

Musk defended his aggressive actions to cut costs after he took control, saying that Twitter is now “roughly breaking even” and said that the mass layoffs of thousands were necessary to avert bankruptcy, saying that Twitter’s current headcount is now about 1,500 employees after the force reductions from “just under 8,000 staff members” before he assumed command.

“This is not a caring, uncaring situation. It’s like if the whole ship sinks then nobody’s got a job,” he said. “What would you do? If you’ve four months to live, 120 days, in a hundred and 20 days you’re dead, so what do you want to do?”

He said that the drastic actions were necessary because of the company’s negative $3 billion cash flow and was optimistic that the deep cuts have righted the ship.

“We could be cash-flow positive this quarter if things go well,” Musk said in the spontaneous interview that drew over three million listeners, noting that Twitter has hit an all-time high in the number of users.

“I said BBC could come Twitter, then, to my surprise, a reporter shows up,” Musk tweeted early Wednesday morning after the interview.

Musk said that he has been “under constant attack” since he took over while acknowledging that some of his tweets have added fuel to the fire.

“Have I shot myself in the foot with tweets multiple times? Yes. I think I should not tweet after 3am,” he said.

At one point after his interviewer tried to spring an ambush that his takeover had enabled hate speech on the platform but couldn’t come up with a specific example, Musk reacted.

“You said you see more hateful content, but you can’t even name a single example, not even one,” he said as Clayton stammered. “You just lied!”

“Give me one example! You literally can’t name one,” Musk added. “You literally said you experience more hateful content and then couldn’t name a single example, that’s absurd.”

He also told Clayton that all legacy blue checks will soon be gone as Twitter moves to a pay-for-status model versus the previous system which he suggested was unfair and elitist.

(Video: The Daily Mail)

“The pain level of Twitter has been extremely high. This hasn’t been some sort of party,” Musk said of the experience as “Chief Twit” after acquiring the company.

“I sometimes sleep in the office,” Musk said. “There’s a library that nobody goes to on the seventh floor and there’s a couch there and I sleep there sometimes.”




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