Less than 24 hours after completing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk determined to vary its homepage.
He requested that logged out customers visiting Twitter.com be redirected to the Explore web page that reveals trending tweets and information tales, in response to staff accustomed to the matter who requested anonymity to talk with out the corporate’s permission. Before, visiting Twitter’s homepage whereas logged out confirmed solely a sign-up type, encouraging the creation of an account to view tweets. Musk’s directive, which was carried out late Friday, required VP involvement to override a code freeze put in place to stop rogue staffers from making modifications through the takeover course of.
Though Musk didn’t extensively articulate a motive for the change, to the staff who noticed it, the message was clear: no extra sacred cows. Inside the previous Twitter, such a choice would have been fought over between groups for weeks. But this was the brand new Twitter. As a former government informed me: “That’s definitely one way to make it clear you’re in charge now.”
“That’s definitely one way to make it clear you’re in charge now”
Changing Twitter’s homepage is an instance of how Musk, lower than three days into his reign as “Chief Twit,” has began to swiftly change the corporate from the within out. Even as he’s making ready to put off a good portion of staff within the coming days, he has fast-tracked modifications to Twitter itself, comparable to ordering that its paid subscription function, Super Follows, be renamed to “Subscriptions” in a rushed replace to Twitter’s cell app. He has additionally mentioned utilizing Starlink, his satellite-based web service at SpaceX, to make Twitter obtainable in international locations the place it’s presently exhausting to entry.
Employees tasked with finishing duties from Musk have labored late into the evening and the weekend whereas their managers draw up lists of staff members to put off. When Musk fired ex-CEO Parag Agrawal and other top execs last week, he did so “for cause” in an try and keep away from paying out the tens of tens of millions in inventory they might in any other case obtain, stated an individual accustomed to the state of affairs. Now staff are fearing that layoffs will start earlier than November 1st, when a major proportion of them are set to obtain inventory grants paid out in money at $54.20 a share. (The Information first reported that Musk fired the Twitter execs for trigger.)
Meanwhile, Musk is counting on his inside circle to assist him higher perceive what he simply purchased. He has been holed up in a sectioned-off space of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters with a fleet of Teslas parked exterior and new safety guards manning the doorway. Dozens of individuals from his household workplace, different firms, and social circles have been added to Twitter’s worker listing and given firm electronic mail addresses, in response to staff and inner correspondence seen by The Verge.
They embrace Alex Spiro, Musk’s private lawyer who’s performing as Twitter’s de facto common counsel; Andrew Musk, his relative who works for his brain-interface startup Neuralink; Jehn Balajadia, COO of The Boring Company; David Sacks, an influential political donor and fellow “PayPal mafia” member; Jason Calacanis, a VC and longtime good friend of Musk’s; and Sriram Krishnan, a former Twitter product chief and present VC at Andreessen Horowitz who can be pals with Musk. (The New York Times first reported that a few of these individuals had been assembly with Twitter staff.)
Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s former head of product who was fired by Agrawal in May, was additionally seen within the workplace final Friday, sparking rumors that he might return. Complicating that concept is the truth that Twitter’s present head of product, Jay Sullivan, continues to be on the firm.
“Twitter will be laser-focused on identity and safety in the coming weeks”
On Saturday, Calacanis, who co-hosts the favored All-In podcast that Musk was a guest on earlier this 12 months, tweeted that he had met with Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security, and “was impressed with his dedication to & perspective on security issues.” The tweet quoted a thread by Roth detailing how the corporate was banning accounts concerned in a “trolling campaign” of tweeting racial slurs. “Twitter will be laser-focused on identity and safety in the coming weeks,” Calacanis adopted up in another tweet.
Musk’s first order of enterprise has been determining who he needs to maintain in Twitter’s engineering group. On Friday, engineers had been requested to print out their current code contributions from the final 30 to 60 days and convey them to be reviewed by Musk and Tesla engineers. They had been then shortly informed to shred their print outs and present the code on their computer systems as an alternative, as first reported by Platformer’s Casey Newton. Some engineers have been glued to a Twitter account that tracks the whereabouts of Musk’s non-public jet, anticipating him and the Tesla engineers to go to the corporate’s New York City workplace on Monday to proceed code evaluations.
Managers have been informed that the aim of the evaluations is for Musk to see who can work on the velocity and effectivity he calls for, and that he needs to weed out engineering managers who don’t often write code. “Managers in software must write great software or it’s like being a cavalry captain who can’t ride a horse!” he tweeted in May.
Twitter’s communications division, which has stopped responding to press inquiries since Musk’s takeover, didn’t reply to a request for remark for this story.
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