Billionaire Elon Musk will attempt to calm anxious Twitter staffers at an “ask me anything”-style town hall — just days after his appointment to the company’s board caused an internal uproar.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal revealed the unusual plan in a companywide email to employees just days after Musk became the company’s largest individual shareholder with a 9% stake.
Musk’s investment drew sharp criticism from some Twitter employees who have questioned whether the Tesla CEO’s brash persona will hurt the company’s culture or affect their day-to-day jobs.
“We say that Twitter is what’s happening and what people are talking about right now. Often, we [at] Twitter are what’s happening and what people are talking about. That has certainly been the case this week,” Agrawal said in the email.
“Following our board announcement, many of you have had different types of questions about Elon Musk, and I want to welcome you to ask those questions to him,” Agrawal added.
Musk has pledged to work with Twitter’s top boss and other board directors to “make significant improvements” to the platform. The billionaire frequently uses his Twitter account to share major announcements regarding Tesla, SpaceX and his other business initiatives, but he has also bashed the social media platform for stifling free speech.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the Musk town hall was in the works. The Washington Post was first to report on the plan.
“Can confirm Elon will join our CEO Parag for an AMA with Twitter employees soon. We have nothing more to share,” the spokesperson said.
The prospect of the notoriously opinionated billionaire’s involvement at Twitter spooked some employees.
“Quick question: If an employee tweeted some of the things Elon tweets, they’d likely be the subject” of an HR complaint, one employee wrote on Twitter’s internal Slack channels, according to the Washington Post. “Are board members held to the same standard?”
Another worker suggested that Musk’s values were contradictory to those of Twitter.
“We know that he has caused harm to workers, the trans community, women, and others with less power in the world,” the employee said. “How are we going to reconcile this decision with our values? Does innovation trump humanity?”
As The Post previously reported, Musk’s board seat drew a mixed response from Twitter employees on the anonymous corporate message board Blind.
Some praised “Daddy Elon” for boosting their stock options and potentially loosening “woke” content moderation rules, while others bashed him. One employee described Musk as “a racist demagogue with a god complex.”
Meanwhile, Musk has taken the polarized response in stride, joking about smoking weed during upcoming Twitter board meetings.
In the days since the investment was disclosed, Twitter executives sought to address concerns by telling employees that Musk couldn’t take unilateral action at the company and that Agrawal, as CEO, was “the tiebreaker” on major decisions.
Under the terms of Musk’s deal with the board, he received a seat through at least 2024 and was barred from buying more than 14.9% of the company.