Elon Musk’s ‘chainsaw’ approach to Twitter won’t work, says SpaceX’s first investor and ex-Facebook executive

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dated: 2022-11-19 23:31:28 .

Elon Musk is “overwhelmed” at Twitter and a “bullying management culture” won’t work there, says ex-Facebook executive.

Chris Kelly, an early investor in SpaceX, is “an Elon fan for the most part,” but said strategies that have worked at Musk’s other companies aren’t being implemented at Twitter. Kelly was commenting on Big Ideas Live, a Sky News event which took place in London on Saturday.

“He can do some pretty amazing things, but he’s ventured into an area that’s way beyond his expertise and he believes that a culture of managing abuse can change that — and that’s not going to work at a company like Twitter.” Kelly said. “I’ve certainly seen some of Elon’s efforts in managing Tesla and SpaceX, but I’m surprised that the approach was that way. He should have been much more measured with the takeover.”

Kelly’s sentiment was echoed by Dex Hunter-Torricke, a former SpaceX communications chief who now advises on moderation as part of Facebook’s Meta oversight board.

“Making very quick decisions about content policy on the fly is probably not the way to go,” Hunter-Torricke told Sky News.

Musk wasted no time in making major changes to Twitter following his $44 billion acquisition of the social network. He quickly fired top executives and then about half the company. He awkwardly asked some of those who had been released to return after realizing they were still needed.

On Wednesday, Musk sent an email to all Twitter employees telling them to be “extremely hard” and to work “long, high-intensity hours.” He then said the employees could either agree to it or leave the company and receive “three months’ severance pay.” Those on board were asked to express their interest via the link provided in the email by Thursday evening. By Friday, it appeared that between 1,000 and 2,000 employees had not clicked “Yes” by the deadline.

Meanwhile, the changes Musk has made to the platform have caused consternation from companies, lawmakers and celebrities, among others.

Many companies have suspended advertising on Twitter amid concerns that hateful content will increase under Musk, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist.”

Some companies, including drugmaker Eli Lilly and defense contractor Lockheed Martin, fell victim to Musk’s Twitter verification fiasco, which allowed pranksters to impersonate companies. That was thanks to a new $8 monthly subscription service that made every bill look “verified.” Twitter paused the service days after launch. The restart is not expected before the end of this month.

“Elon is willing to try many things — many will fail, some will succeed,” said Esther Crawford, a Twitter contributor who worked on the verification audit. “The goal is to find the right combination of successful changes to ensure the long-term health and growth of the business.”

But Kelly believes Musk’s style will hurt the company in the long run, saying at today’s event: “The massive cuts and chainsaws that Elon Musk has inflicted on the company do not bode well for its future.”

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Source: fortune.com

Elon Musk’s ‘chainsaw’ approach to Twitter won’t work, says SpaceX’s first investor and ex-Facebook executive

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