Twitter Inc. employees expressed shock and exhaustion on Friday after billionaire businessman Elon Musk announced he was pulling out of a deal to acquire the social media company, potentially setting off months of legal wrangling.
Musk said Twitter breached a number of terms of a $44 billion acquisition deal, including failing to disclose spam accounts and firing some executives and recruiters. Twitter’s president announced that the board intended to file a lawsuit to enforce the agreement.
In apparent criticism of the latest step in Musk’s Twitter courtship since January, the company’s engineers, marketing executives and other employees quickly took to Twitter to share memes publicly. These memes included images of a roller coaster and a baby screaming into a phone. Others made jokes about how they couldn’t renege on their own personal promises.
With Musk’s penchant for cutting headcount and other expenses, removing content control and restricting remote work, employees have expressed widespread fear that he will take over Twitter. However, Musk’s now-rejected offer still represents a 36 percent premium to the company’s stock and could result in significant payouts to both staff members and other shareholders.
A Twitter employee told Reuters on Friday that they were growing increasingly fed up with the road ahead after months of non-stop headlines. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the employee said: “I just don’t think it’s really over.”
End of first season: What a cliffhanger, wrote Amir Shevat, whose Twitter account says he works on the company’s developer products, shortly after learning of Musk’s firing.
“If only this wasn’t the start of a long legal battle that will end up lowering the purchase price and prolonging the circus for another indeterminate time,” said Jared Manfredi, who according to his profile works on iOS. products on Twitter.
They did not immediately react to requests for comment sent via private messages, and Reuters was unable to independently verify the facts on their profiles, Reuters reports. Twitter informed staff members last month that it was on track to surpass its highest goal of 13 million users who would see ads during the second quarter that just ended. Twitter has yet to release its second-quarter earnings.
Musk, CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX, said in a video town hall with Twitter staff that he intends to grow the service’s 229 million user base to at least 1 billion users. Users should be able to post “pretty crazy stuff,” he added.
Musk, a frequent Twitter user, has claimed that if he had a social media platform, he could make it more enjoyable while still being an important public forum.
In a filing with regulators on Friday, his lawyer claimed that Twitter had breached a contract clause that required it to “preserve substantially intact the material components of its current business organization” by firing two managers, reducing its talent acquisition team, put a hiring freeze and rescission of job offers.
The resignations of three department heads were also mentioned. Twitter had more than 7,500 employees at the end of 2021.
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