Elon Musk on Thursday addressed Twitter employees in a Q&A for the first time since his takeover of the company was made public in April.
Top questions from staffers centered around his strategy for the company, whether remote work will continue, layoff concerns and Musk’s future role at Twitter. Musk and Twitter held a virtual all-hands where employees could submit questions ahead of time to the billionaire planning to acquire the company for $44 billion. Musk has agreed to appear for another internal meeting, according to updates leaked to The New York Times.
The Q&A began with employee questions around layoffs and remote work. The San Francisco-based company’s roughly 8,000 workers have about a quarter that are working from home. Musk acknowledged that those who are “exceptional” at their work can remain remote, but he also said working on site is “much better.” Regarding layoffs, Musk said layoffs would depend on a lot of factors, but he did not directly answer questions on whether jobs will be cut.
Musk was also asked about how payments might work on the platform. He replied that Chinese social media and payments app WeChat could be a model for Twitter. Developed by tech giant Tencent, WeChat provides social media and payments services to more than 1 billion people, often seen as the app for everything in China.
Later on, employees asked about Musk’s involvement at Twitter. Musk said he wants to be involved in the product but is unsure of his title going forward. Musk previously suggested he would take over as interim CEO of the company after the deal closes later this year. The billionaire has also suggested he would change the platform’s content moderation policies, as well as implement ways to target crypto scams and make commercial and government users pay a fee for the service.
Quick recap: Musk and Twitter’s deal has been everything but straightforward ever since the billionaire mounted his hostile takeover back in April. Last month, the deal was stalled due to Musk’s request for Twitter’s bots data from the platform. That caused many to wonder whether he will actually go through with the plan to buy Twitter, after tweeting that his Twitter deal is “on hold” as he awaits details about the total number of spam and fake accounts on the platform.
The deal was expected to close later this year, subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders and regulators. Musk has secured $25.5 billion of fully committed debt and margin loan financing and is providing approximately $21.0 billion as an equity commitment. The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1. Twitter stock is currently trading far below the price Musk offered to buy the company, a further sign that there are doubts the deal will close.