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Elon Musk Twitter: seizure has forced some employees to flee

by Everydays Journal
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Months-long chaos surrounding Musk’s seizure has forced some employees to flee, current employees told Reuters.

Company leaders told staff on Wednesday that Twitter Inc. faces more employee departures as authorities sought to manage multiple challenges, including whistleblower allegations and a lawful battle with billionaire Elon Musk.

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Employee decay is currently 18.3%, Twitter administrators told staff during a company-wide conference, audio of which was attended by Reuters. Before Mr. Musk made his $44 billion proposal to accept the company, attrition balanced between 14% and 16%, consistent with what competitors and executives had previously said.

The months-long confusion related to the Mr. Musk confiscation has caused some teams to flee, existing workers had informed Reuters.

The staff meeting was held a day after Twitter’s former security chief Peiter “Mudge” Zatko said in a whistleblower complaint that the social media company misled federal regulators about its defenses against hackers and spam accounts.

The San Francisco-based company is also leading to an October trial after suing Mr. Musk for attempting to walk away from the buyout agreement.

Chief Executive Parag Agrawal

Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal reassured employees on Wednesday that Mr. Zatko’s accusations were “foundationally, technically, and historically inaccurate.”

Before the news broke, Twitter reached out to “various agencies” globally, said General Counsel Sean Edgett.

“We have never made a material misrepresentation to a regulator, to our board, to all of you,” he said.

During the conference, the staff asked company leaders whether Twitter would hire or promote more junior staff members and how it could be expected to hit its growth targets given the employee exodus.

“The only path for us to deliver is by checking our focus to fewer things and for that to be proportionate to the number of people here,” Mr. Agrawal responded.

Jay Sullivan, Twitter’s general manager

Jay Sullivan, Twitter’s general manager for consumer and revenue products, gave early details of a new project to consider ways of letting users have more control over the content they see on Twitter. The concept of giving users more control helps shape Twitter’s work on content moderation, but the new scheme would incorporate the philosophy into product road maps, Mr. Sullivan said.

Twitter did not respond to the request for additional comment.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said it would hold a hearing with Mr. Zatko on September 13, the same day that Twitter shareholders will vote on whether to approve the deal with Mr. Musk.

Also, on Wednesday, attorneys for Twitter and Mr. Musk attended a hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, to decide if Twitter had to provide documents and data sought by Mr. Musk to challenge the company’s estimates of spam accounts on its platform. Mr. Musk’s attorneys briefly mentioned the allegations by Mr. Zatko.

“Mr. Zatko said management had no appetite to measure bots,” Alex Spiro, Musk’s lawyer, told the judge.

The judge said at the ending of Wednesday’s hearing she would consider the arguments before issuing a ruling.

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