Reactions among Twitter employees to news that the company may be acquired by Elon Musk for $44 billion have been…mixed. While some believe Musk taking the company private will do more good for the service than as a public company, others are strongly against his leadership.
Business Insider reported that a former Twitter executive, who remains anonymous, said a major concern among employees is Musk’s impulsive leadership style and that he will force the company to act on “his hot takes.” The former executive said they recieve calls and messages daily from Twitter employees asking about job opportunities, and that “any sense that an exodus is building is correct.” They said employees are concerned Musk “doesn’t get it,” in regards to the work Twitter has put into moderation and limiting hate speech, toxic content and harassment from the platform.
In a survey conducted by the corporate message board Blind, following Musk’s purchase of a 9.2% stake in Twitter, verified employee reactions include: “[Musk] is an a—hole”, “Don’t want [Musk] as CEO,” “I’m not convinced he’s in the best place mentally,” and that Musk is a “dangerously insane oligarch.” A Twitter employee even said “He’s either just pumping and dumping or [has] no plan.” Fewer employees publicly announced their disdain for Musk, but some did so through Twitter.
On Thursday, Daniel Zhao, a senior economist and data scientist at the job insights platform Glassdoor, tweeted that interest in job openings at Twitter was up 263% between April 24 and April 30.
Chief legal analyst at Esquire Digital, Aron Solomon, said “there will be a lot of departures among those with valid moral and business concerns," but that “it's really going to come down to vesting." Vesting is the process of earning an asset, like stock options for example, over time. Twitter employees are on a four-year vesting schedule, with 25% of their restricted stock units vesting each year. With Musk taking Twitter private, it’s not official what exactly will happen to shares employees were granted. However, they’ll likely be able to keep their equity as is, or be provided with an equivalent compensation such as cash, according to New York Times’ Sean Edgett.
With Twitter’s price soaring over 27% in the past three months, largely due to Musk, upset employees will likely be holding off their mass departure for the time being.