Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter and the CEO of both SpaceX and the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, informed the company's staff on Thursday that he recently sold Tesla stock to "save Twitter."
He made the comments at an all-hands gathering that he organized, in part to inspire the hard work of Twitter employees who had survived mass layoffs. Following his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion, or $54.20 per share, Musk laid off over half of its workforce.
Musk sold at least another $3.95 billion worth of Tesla stock last week to pay for his portion of the take-private agreement. He just sold 19.5 million more Tesla shares, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and made public on Tuesday. He also sold Tesla stock earlier this year for nearly $8 billion in April and almost $7 billion in August.
Along with friends, investors, and deputies from other companies that he has co-founded, Musk has invited personnel from Tesla, including dozens of Autopilot engineers, to help with code review and other duties at Twitter. Musk wants Twitter to become less dependent on ad revenue and to have half of its revenue come from Twitter Blue customers, among other things.
Musk intends to personally approve any alternative arrangements and wants workers to spend at least 40 hours per week in a Twitter office. He also informed staff that if the business did not generate considerable subscription money, it might not survive the current economic crisis. Musk wants to change the company's economic model so that it may rely less on advertising and earn at least half of its revenue from subscriptions. However, he stated in the staff email that he continues to believe Twitter will bring in large amounts of money from marketers.
Some of Tesla's most steadfast bulls have been rattled by Musk's Twitter diversion. For instance, Wedbush Securities withdrew Tesla from its top stock list, according to CNBC Pro. The company has dubbed Musk's Twitter agreement a "train wreck disaster," claiming that the well-known CEO has "tarnished" the Tesla tale and put shareholders in an "agonizing cycle."
These adjustments follow the resignations of more Twitter C-level officials, including Lea Kissner, Chief Information and Security Officer. "I've made the hard decision to leave Twitter. I've had the opportunity to work with amazing people and I'm so proud of the privacy, security, and IT teams and the work we've done. I'm looking forward to figuring out what's next." Kissner also noted, "I've loved this job and we got *so* much done, but here we are."