OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that if he is successful in buying Twitter, he will reverse the permanent ban on ex-President Donald Trump.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Musk said that the ban “was morally wrong and flat out stupid.”
Earlier this month, Trump said he was “probably” not returning to Twitter if Musk restored his account.
Speaking to Sirius XM’s Americano Media, Trump said he “probably wouldn’t have any interest” in going back to the platform. He had around 90 million followers on the social media giant.
“You know, Twitter has become very boring. They’ve gotten rid of a lot of their good voices … a lot of their conservative voices,” Trump declared.
Although Musk is not officially in control of Twitter yet, the platform is getting a lot more attention in anticipation of a successful purchase deal – to the dismay of existing employees.
Since the Twitter board of directors accepted Musk’s buyout offer, employment interest has soared:
It’s still unclear how a Musk-run Twitter might impact the company’s ability to retain current staff and recruit new employees. The company presented the takeover as a potential threat to its staffing abilities in an SEC filing Monday.
But at least casual interest in open positions at the company has skyrocketed since the Tesla billionaire showed serious interest in taking over the company.
On Thursday, Daniel Zhao, a senior economist and data scientist at the job insights platform Glassdoor, tweeted that interest in job openings at the social media giant was up 263% between April 24 and April 30.
“Some trivia: With the announcement of Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition offer being accepted, interest in Twitter jobs on Glassdoor rose 263 percent last week (4/24-4/30), compared to the March 2022 baseline,” Zhao posted on the platform.
Some trivia: With the announcement of Elon Musk's Twitter acquisition offer being accepted, interest in Twitter jobs on Glassdoor rose 263 percent last week (4/24-4/30), compared to the March 2022 baseline.
— Daniel Zhao (@DanielBZhao) May 5, 2022
He continued: “Well, the above data is made more relevant by today’s news. Say what you will about Elon, he does have a large fanbase of ppl excited to work for him. He’s much more likely to capitalize on that attraction as CEO than owner.”
Well, the above data is made more relevant by today's news. Say what you will about Elon, he does have a large fanbase of ppl excited to work for him. He's much more likely to capitalize on that attraction as CEO than owner.https://t.co/DxldJ1Hrqp
— Daniel Zhao (@DanielBZhao) May 5, 2022
Zhao explained to the news outlet that interest is measured by the number of average daily clicks on Twitter job posts compared to average daily clicks in March 2022 before news broke that Musk was interested in the social network.
Though the increase in clicks doesn’t always translate into jobs applied for, and it may simply reflect the current media attention he has gained, “the increase shows that people appear to be interested not just in the media story, but in work available at the company,” said the publication.
While Fortune noted that 59 percent of Americans approve of Musk’s takeover, a recent Harris poll also indicated that “some current Twitter staff worry that it will dramatically change the company’s culture, and overall direction.”
Musk’s changes include reducing censorship and more focus on freedom of speech, so this may also be true if he implements some of the changes he has announced.
Now, U.S. authorities are reportedly investigating Elon Musk’s business dealings with respect to his $44 billion purchase of Twitter.
“The Securities and Exchange Commission is probing Mr. Musk’s tardy submission of a public form that investors must file when they buy more than 5% of a company’s shares,” According to The Wall Street Journal. “The disclosure functions as an early sign to shareholders and companies that a significant investor could seek to control or influence a company.”
“The Tesla Inc. chief executive made his filing on April 4, at least 10 days after his stake surpassed the trigger point for disclosure. Mr. Musk hasn’t publicly explained why he didn’t file in a timely manner. Mr. Musk likely saved more than $143 million by not reporting that his trades had crossed the 5% threshold, said Daniel Taylor, a University of Pennsylvania accounting professor, since the share price could have been higher had the market known of the billionaire’s growing stake,” the Journal added.
“Investors who cross that line are required to file a form with the SEC revealing their stake within 10 days. Mr. Musk’s holdings topped 5% on March 14, securities filings show, meaning he should have disclosed his stake by March 24 under SEC rules. After March 24, Mr. Musk purchased roughly $513 million worth of stock at prices between $38.20 and $40.31 a share, according to a regulatory filing. The total buying spree made him Twitter’s largest individual shareholder with 9.2% of its shares. Based on Twitter’s closing price of $49.97 on April 4, the day Mr. Musk disclosed his stake, he likely saved more than $143 million on those trades, Dr. Taylor estimated,” according to the report.
“The case is easy. It’s straightforward. But whether they’re going to pick that battle with Elon is another question,” explained Dr. Taylor, implying a possible regulation lawsuit against Musk.
According to CNBC’s David Fabor, Musk is “expected to serve as a temporary CEO of Twitter for a few months after he completes his $44 billion take over of the social media company.”
“The report comes as Musk has secured $7.1 billion in new funding for the deal from a group of more than a dozen investors, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Fidelity, and Brookfield Asset Management. In addition, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Alsaud has agreed to retain his 34,948,975 Twitter shares, worth approximately $1.9 billion,” according to Fox Business.
“As a result of the new commitments, Musk’s margin loan financing for the deal has been reduced from $12.5 billion to $6.25 billion, while his equity financing has increased from $21 billion to $27.25 billion. Musk’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission emphasizes that he is currently in discussions with existing shareholders of Twitter common stock, including co-founder Jack Dorsey, regarding ‘the possibility of contributing such shares of Common stock, at or immediately prior to the closing of the Merger, in order to retain an equity investment in Twitter following completion of the merger,’” the report stated.
Musk sent a note to current and new Twitter employees last Saturday.
“Work ethic expectations would be extreme, but much less than I demand of myself,” he wrote on Twitter.
It was the culmination of a series of tweets that attracted attention.
Also, work ethic expectations would be extreme, but much less than I demand of myself
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2022
Musk revealed more about his plans for the platform on Friday.
“If Twitter acquisition completes, the company will be super focused on hardcore software engineering, design, infosec & server hardware,” he wrote on Twitter Friday morning, including a link to the Fortune article.
“I strongly believe that all managers in a technical area must be technically excellent. Managers in software must write great software or it’s like being a cavalry captain who can’t ride a horse!” he continued.
I strongly believe that all managers in a technical area must be technically excellent.
Managers in software must write great software or it’s like being a cavalry captain who can’t ride a horse!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 6, 2022