Musk has made a mess of his purchase of Twitter… which has included hinting at laying off three-quarters of its current workforce. So, yea: The vibes were a bit off when he visited its SF headquarters Wednesday.
Well, it’s official: Elon Musk, the adult-sized human child and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, finalized his contentious deal to buy Twitter Thursday, a full day ahead of the Delaware court-mandated deadline. In his first post-acquisition tweet of the social media website, Musk didn’t address employees or its users; he, instead, directly targeted advertisers, assuring them that policies and modalities around Twitter would change to allow them to better harness the platform for marketing. It’s a wary sign of what’s feasible to come of the company’s trajectory going forward: make a beeline toward profit… at all costs.
The costs? We know Musk threatened to shrink Twitter’s current workforce by 75% — a proposal that sent the company into a frenzy and rightfully so. He, too, has made it clear that he “overpaid” for the company at $44 billion, but was OK with the settled price because of the potential he sees in it, including its ability to release profitable products.
Amid all the hoopla, and before today’s cemented acquisition, Musk visited Twitter’s downtown SF headquarters Wednesday to meet with people. He was filmed literally carrying a sink in an attempt to lighten moods and make a lackluster joke — “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!”
During his first day of visiting the company’s main offices, Musk met with, per his own tweet, “a lot of cool people.” Whether these “cool people” will still have jobs at Twitter by the end of the year remains TBD.
Suffice it to say the tension in the air around Musk’s visit was thick with ire; no cohort has been subjected to his mercurial online antics over the past year than Twitter’s current nest of employees. When Musk visited “the perch,” a nickname given for Twitter’s SF-based headquarters, coffees were sipped in his presence.
Some people carried on with business as usual. Others took this chance to force happenstance meetings with the then soon-to-be owner; an apparent email to the company suggested employees be warm and greet Musk with a jovial tone. A few appear to have said “fuck all that,” and sent stares to Musk that would give Medusa a run for her money.
In a picture uploaded by @Nate_Esparza on Twitter, Musk is seen flocked by employees of the media company… many of who are giving him a look that… well, let’s just say if looks could kill, he might not still be standing.
The way they’re all staring him down… https://t.co/JaUBkVgvOx
— Matt Charnock (@M_J_Charnock) October 26, 2022
The digital still exquisitely encapsulates the anxieties and anger and uncertainties and exhaustion spinning around the mobile over Musk’s acquisition of the company. The heroine and hero of the picture, a man and woman to Musk’s right, pulled a Christine Baranski, who went viral for eyeing down the multi-billion dare with a frigid stare of absolute disdain at this year’s Met Gala.
For now, we’ll all have to be content with twiddling our thumbs (over our keyboards) as we wait to see what will become of the most essential social media outlet for culture (and journalism).
Feature image: Courtesy of Twitter via @Nate_Esparza