7 days, 7 Twitter earthquakes: CEO Elon Musk's first week in office

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadNov 03, 2022 | 10:22

7 days, 7 Twitter earthquakes: CEO Elon Musk's first week in office

Is Elon Musk 'sinking' Twitter? Photo: @elonmusk/Twitter

Elon Musk's first week at Twitter has been undoubtedly chaotic. The situation at Twitter seems to be that of desperation - on the behalf of the employees as well as Elon Musk himself. After all, Musk was forced to buy the company he didn't want to, and that too for an overinflated price of $44 billion. 

His Twitter bio changing from "Chief Twit" to "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator" also kind of signifies the realisation of owning Twitter. It isn't that cool anymore. 


Here we look at Elon Musk's 7 days at the "most interesting place on the Internet (using Musk's words)":

1. The job cuts

The biggest drama that started even before Musk officially took over Twitter was the rumour that the mega-billionaire was planning to slash the company's workforce by 75%. 

  • A latest report says this estimated layoff might be half of Twitter's workforce. 
  • Verge reported that Musk is meeting with advisors to finalise a plan to axe nearly 3,800 employees. Bloomberg puts the number at 3,700. 
  • Musk thinks that there are too many people in management positions, saying there are 10 managers to one engineer working. 

Toxicity at workplace: If there is one thing common between Elon Musk's companies, then it should be workplace toxicity, whether it is Tesla and allegations of sexual harassment and poor working conditions or Twitter with its stress and uncertainty. 

  • CNBC reported that since October 28, some Twitter employees have been asked to work 12-hour shifts for 7 days a week to meet Musk's impossible deadlines.
  • Reportedly, employees have been sleeping at the office over the weekends. How Tesla of Twitter!

Hawkish policies: The workload is said to be a "test" by taskmaster Elon Musk to see who works "hard". For employees, there is a sword of layoffs always hanging over their heads. 

People are freaking!
- Twitter employee
There have been no internal comms about the departures. No internal comms about anything, really.
- Twitter employee
- Twitter employee texted on Slack
  • Elon Musk has also brought in his close allies and friends to Twitter to help him run it including Tesla engineers. He has reportedly set up a "war room" with his allies. 

2. The firings 

On his very first day, Musk fired top executives - CEO Parag Agrawal, Head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde, CFO Ned Segal and General counsel Sean Edgett.

  • They were fired before November 1 so that Musk could reportedly avoid a $100 million severance payout. Moreover, several of the execs were reportedly escorted out of the Twitter building by security. 

3. Twitter board 

Top executives aren't the only ones, Elon Musk had removed from Twitter. He dismissed the entire Board of Directors of Twitter. 

  • Currently, he is the sole director on the Twitter board and the CEO. Though, he's said the arrangement is temporary. 

4. The people who left

There are also a number of top Twitter executives who are leaving the company. Chief of Customer Officer Sarah Personette and Chief People and Diversity Officer Dalana Brand both resigned from their positions.


  • While some Twitter employees are leaving, reports are saying the company is getting flooded with job applications who want to work in an Elon Musk company. 
  • On the other hand, Elon Musk's takeover has also begun an exodus of Twitter users including celebrities like Shonda Rhimes. 

5. Reversing permanent bans

While there are users leaving Twitter, one of Musk's bigger visions for Twitter after his takeover, was to reverse any lifetime bans, like that of Former US President Donald Trump. 

  • But Donald Trump isn't back on Twitter yet. And Musk says it might take weeks for these things.

6. Twitter "hellscape"

Donald Trump may not be on Twitter, but the likes of him are, who also love Elon Musk, the poster boy of white male supremacy. 

  • It came as no surprise that his takeover coincided with a significant rise of hate speech, use of the n-word, the Nazis, conspiracy theories, and more on Twitter.   
  • The height of the chaos was on full display when Elon Musk himself tweeted a link to a conspiracy theory on the attack on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband and then deleted the tweet. 

  • Musk has been an advocate of absolute free speech and has made it clear that he did not like Twitter's earlier policies on content moderation. He intends to dial down moderation to a bare minimum. 
  • But Elon Musk also later clarified (to advertisers) that Twitter will not become a "free-for-all hellscape" and that it will be a safe brand for advertisers. 

The exodus of advertisers: While Twitter user exodus may not seem like an immediate worry for Elon Musk, the exodus of advertisers is a concern. Advertising makes up the majority of Twitter's revenue and right now advertisers are not confident in Musk's brand of Twitter. 

  • Several advertisers including General Motors have temporarily suspended advertising on Twitter for the time being till they can see where Musk takes Twitter. 

7. The verification fee

Elon Musk has also acknowledged that he can't be depending on advertisers for all the revenue and has asked users to pitch in into his mania. 

  • Elon Musk announced the unpopular Twitter verification fee of $8 or Rs 650. Now, users can subscribe to Twitter Blue for $8, up from earlier $4, get several benefits including a verified blue tick next to their name. 
  • And for all those who already have a verified tick to their name; they will also have to subscribe to the plan to keep it. 

It seems like the state of Twitter and by extension, Elon Musk is the same as the sink he brought into the headquarters on his first day. Instead of letting the change "sink in", the sink seems to be more telling of things going down the drain. 

After all, Twitter's debt load has increased from about $2 billion to more than $13 billion excluding the interest. Reportedly, the debt load of Twitter is 12 times more than what it is now. 

Last updated: November 03, 2022 | 10:57
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy