Twitter CEO Elon Musk says 'bankruptcy isn't out of the question', bans remote working
Musk's first email to Twitter employees explains that the future will be rocky for the social media company
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Twitter employee email
😖 Musk’s first email to employees paints a bleak picture of the company’s future
🙅♂️ Musk has said the road ahead requires “intense work” and banned remote working
📉 He also said the “economic picture ahead is dire” and outlined the importance of Twitter Blue subscriptions
😱 Musk even went as far as to say “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question”
Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for $44bn, emailed employees on Wednesday evening to outline the road ahead for the troubled social media platform – and it’s not looking good.
In an email obtained by The Verge, Musk warned of “a challenging economic climate” and said that the “economic picture ahead is dire”. He also said that it will take “intense work” if the platform is to succeed.
The South African billionaire reiterated the importance of attracting Twitter Blue subscribers – which now costs $8 a month – and said the company needs roughly half of its revenue to come from the subscription service.
What’s more, Musk banned remote working at Twitter. The move mirrors his hardline approach at Tesla, where the automotive company demanded that remote employees start coming back to the office or they’d be fired.
“Everyone is required to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week,” says Musk. “Obviously, if you are physically unable to travel to an office or have a critical personal obligation, then your absence is understandable.”
You can read Musk’s first email to Twitter employees below:
Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message.
Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate. Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!
That is why the priority over the past ten days has been to develop and launch Twitter Blue Verified subscriptions (huge props to the team!). Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn. We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.
Of course, we will still then be significantly reliant on advertising, so I am spending time with our sales & partnerships teams to ensure that Twitter continues to be appealing to advertisers.
The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed. We are also changing Twitter policy such that remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have a specific exception. Managers will send the exceptions lists to me for review an approval.
Starting tomorrow (Thursday), everyone is required to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Obviously, if you are physically unable to travel to an office or have a critical personal obligation, then your absence is understandable.
I look forward to working with you to take Twitter to a whole new level. The potential is truly incredible!
According to Zoë Schiffer, Platformer’s managing editor, Musk told Twitter employees in an impromptu meeting that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question”. He also made his stance on remote working even clearer, saying “If you can physically make it to an office and you don’t show up, resignation accepted”.
It’s been a tumultuous few weeks at Twitter, to put it lightly, with Musk cutting the social media company’s workforce in half and rolling out several changes like two check marks for official accounts.
However, things could be about to get a lot worse for Musk. Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth has now changed his Twitter bio to “Former Head of Trust & Safety at Twitter,” after reports emerged he’d left the company. Bloomberg claims that Twitter’s sales VP Robin Wheeler, CISO Lea Kissner, chief privacy officer Damien Kieran, and chief compliance officer Marianne Fogarty have also resigned.
Musk has frequently shared Roth’s insights into how Twitter is handling moderation, and his resignation won’t exactly reassure advertisers that are already worried about Twitter’s policies.
If you’re desperate to be verified on Twitter but don’t want to subscribe to Twitter Blue, the brand is selling verification stickers that lets you slap a blue check on anything.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.