In an unusual move for an individual takeover bid from the world’s richest man on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk will address the social platform’s employees on Thursday, even though his $44 billion bid is not yet completed.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced in an email Monday that all employees would have a meeting where they could ask questions ahead of time, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The meeting is a “clear step in the right direction towards the prospect of a deal and a smart strategic move, as Twitter employees have been left in the dark for the past few months and have many questions during this volatile period of uncertainty,” the spokesperson said. . Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.
Musk reached a deal in April to take over Twitter, but he has since clashed repeatedly with the company over the number of bots or fake accounts on the social media platform. Musk said he needed more data from the company on those bot accounts, despite Twitter reporting his bot estimates — and acknowledgment that they may be too low — to investors for years. Musk said he put the deal on hold on May 13, though it seems unlikely he can do it alone.
Twitter employees may have other reasons to be nervous about Musk’s impending acquisition. The irascible billionaire has launched a barrage of criticism of the company, from its moderation and security policies, which he calls a threat to “free speech,” to his anonymous user accounts, which he would like to eliminate, to the ban on former President Donald Trump, which he has promised to reverse.
Harry Kraemer, former Baxter International CEO and professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, pointed out that the deal is “not a guarantee until it’s completed,” and there are still plenty of steps left before the purchase can be completed.
“In my experience, it’s very unusual and almost bizarre for someone who hasn’t bought the company to speak to current employees of the company they want to buy,” Kraemer said.
If history is any guide, Musk might consider moving the company to Texas, as he did with Tesla’s headquarters in December 2021. An unabashed crypto enthusiast, he has floated ideas about accepting the cryptocurrency dogecoin as payment for premium accounts. Musk once let Tesla buy $1.5 billion in bitcoin and let buyers pay for their cars using cryptocurrency for a short period.
He also targeted Twitter’s work-from-home policy after once calling for the company’s headquarters to be turned into a “homeless shelter” because he said it had so few employees. The comment also served as a thinly veiled jab at San Francisco, which has a large homeless population.
It’s not clear whether this week’s meeting means the two sides have come closer to resolving their issues. Twitter’s shares are trading well below the $54.20 per share that Musk has pledged to pay amid Wall Street doubts the deal will close.