Woke Twitter employees 'terrified' of Elon Musk's vow to make 'significant' changes to platform

Twitter became the most bought US stock by retail investors on Monday, April 4, after the billionaire disclosed a 9.2 percent stake in the company


                            Woke Twitter employees 'terrified' of Elon Musk's vow to make 'significant' changes to platform
SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC (Twitter, Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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A number of woke Twitter employees are running scared after Elon Musk promised "significant improvements" to the micro-blogging site as a board member and majority stakeholder.

Twitter became the most bought US stock by retail investors on Monday, April 4, after the SpaceX founder, who boasts more than 80 million followers, disclosed a 9.2 percent stake in the company. However, after news broke of the tech tycoon's $3 billion investment in the platform, several employees issued messages of uneasiness and uncertainty about the company's future.

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Lara Cohen, Twitter's Global Head of Partners, wrote, "Good morning to our new overlord!" in response to a tweet condemning the move. Meanwhile, company researcher Matt DeMichiel posted a meme featuring the rapper Drake that implied Musk would divert the company from a path of growth, innovation and sustainability to one prioritizing financial success. Haraldur Thorleifsson, lead of Twitter's 0→1 team, bemoaned that Musk "just (temporarily at least) made me a lot of money. And I still dislike him."

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Musk initially filed a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure document intended for passive shareholders. According to the Daily Mail, the billionaire filed a second form Tuesday, April 5, suggesting that the goal of his investment in the platform was to evoke change. The new filing reportedly indicates that Musk began purchasing Twitter stock on January 31 and continued buying shares during every trading session through April 1. 

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Musk was granted a seat on Twitter's board of directors until the company's annual shareholders' meeting in 2024. In exchange, the business magnate is not allowed to push his stake past 14.9 percent during his board membership and for 90 days after, per Tuesday's SEC filing. Nonetheless, Twitter employees appeared genuinely concerned about Musk's influence on the company's trajectory. “I’m honestly kinda terrified,” one transgender employee wrote, while another feared for the “company culture” after Musk’s investment.

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EJ Samson, a member of Twitter's marketing team, questioned Musk's role at the company. "What is happening?" he wrote via meme while retweeting a poll the tech entrepreneur had posted asking if users wanted an edit button.

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A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) report revealed how the social media giant had entered into an agreement with the world's richest man on Monday about giving him a seat on its board. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal subsequently announced Musk's board membership, saying the billionaire brings "great value" to the company. "I'm excited to share that we're appointing @elonmusk to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board," Agrawal tweeted. "He's both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on @Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon!" Musk responded by saying, "Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!"

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