Elon Musk spoke out at an annual conference in Manhattan about the difficulties he is facing in trying to boost profits for his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, a social media company that has been in decline since its initial laying of thousands of employees. He also discussed the potential exodus of advertisers due to the spread of hate speech.
Here are some key facts
Speaking at the Baron Investment Conference, Musk acknowledged he tried to back out of the $44 billion deal, calling Twitter a “poorly managed business” he bought “on the basis of what it could become.”
He also sought to justify the layoffs that hit roughly half the company’s staff on Friday, saying Twitter “was having pretty serious revenue and cost challenges” before the acquisition started.
Regarding the loss of advertisers—including General Mills and Volvo—since he took over, Musk claimed the company has done its “absolute best to appease them,” before lamenting: “Nothing has worked.”
Earlier on Friday, Musk blamed “activist groups” for the pushback he’s received from advertisers, after a group of more than 40 organizations on Tuesday sent a letter urging Twitter’s top 20 advertisers to “cease all advertising” on the platform if Musk rolls back on moderation practices—saying the groups prompted a “massive drop in revenue.”
$210.3 billion. That’s how much Musk, the world’s richest person, is worth on Friday, according to SME estimates.
The Musk-Twitter saga started back in April, when the billionaire acquired a 9% stake in the firm and weeks later announced a bid to acquire it at a massive premium—only to try to “terminate” the deal in July, purportedly over concerns about fake accounts. After a series of lawsuits, the deal ultimately went through last Thursday, with Musk taking over as chief executive and immediately disbanding the company’s board and firing its CEO and chief financial officer.
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