Musk Tells Twitter Staff ‘Bankruptcy Isn’t Out Of The Question’ As Executives Jump Ship Over Privacy Concerns
At an all hands meeting with Twitter employees following the departure of several top executives over user privacy concerns, CEO Elon Musk told employees that he was not sure of the company’s financial prospects, saying that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question,” according to multiple reports.
At the same meeting, Musk also told employees that if they can “physically make it to an office and you don’t show up, resignation accepted,” Zoë Schiffer, the managing editor of tech newsletter Platformer, alleged in a thread on Twitter Thursday afternoon. The news comes after reports that a variety of high-level executives, including Chief Privacy Officer Damien Kieran, Chief Information Security Officer Lea Kissner — who also confirmed her departure in a Thursday tweet — and Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty all resigned Thursday in response to concerns that Musk was sacrificing user’s data security for profits, according to The Verge, citing anonymous sources and the company’s internal messages.
“Elon has shown that his only priority with Twitter users is how to monetize them,” a company lawyer posted in the business messaging app Slack in a channel visible to all staff, according to The Verge. “I do not believe he cares about the human rights activists. the dissidents, our users in un-monetizable regions, and all the other users who have made Twitter the global town square you have all spent so long building, and we all love.”
Head of Trust and Safety, Yoel Roth is also reportedly leaving the company, according to Schiffer, citing “multiple” anonymous sources. Roth was on a public call with Musk attempting to assuage advertisers’ fears about upcoming changes to the content moderation policy as recently as Nov. 9.
In May, Twitter was penalized $150 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for failing to properly notify users that their personal data, including private messages, was being used to target ads towards them, according to the FTC.
“Elon is willing to take a huge amount of risk in relation to this company and its users, because ‘Elon puts rockets in space, he’s not afraid of the FTC,’” the same company lawyer posted, citing current head of Twitter’s legal team, Alex Spiro, according to The Verge.
“We are tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern,” Director of Public Affairs Douglas Farrar of the FTC, told Reuters Thursday.
Musk acquired Twitter on Oct. 27 for roughly $44 billion, but has since struggled to generate revenue as advertisers got cold feet over the tech mogul’s self-proclaimed “absolutist” stance on free speech. The new CEO has launched mass layoffs at the company and the reported denial of severance to several top executives that were fired in one of Musk’s firsts moves at the helm.
Musk’s relationship with foreign countries “is worthy of being looked at,” said President Joe Biden, at a Nov. 9 press conference, noting the role of foreign investors, including a Saudi prince, in Musk’s takeover.
Neither Twitter nor the FTC immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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