Elon Musk talks layoffs, aliens in Q&A with Twitter employees


Elon Musk staged a town hall meeting with Twitter employees on Thursday, addressing everything from layoffs and remote work to politics and aliens as he appeared to double down on his $44 billion commitment to take over the company.

Asked about whether he would slash jobs at Twitter if the deal goes through, Musk gave an ominous response, reportedly saying, “Right now, costs exceed revenue. That’s not a great situation.”

“The company does need to get healthy,” added Musk.

Notably, Twitter’s rank and file failed to specifically ask Musk the biggest question on Wall Street right now — namely, whether he plans to negotiate down the sale price for the company or is considering backing out of the deal altogether.

Twitter shares fell 1.7% to $37.36 on Thursday afternoon — far below the deal price of $54.20 a share — indicating mounting investor skepticism about the deal.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk talked about aliens, remote work and Ron DeSantis in a question-and-answer session with Twitter staff.
AFP via Getty Images
“Right now, costs exceed revenue. That’s not a great situation,” Musk said.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

During the video question-and-answer session, Musk told Twitter employees that he has “moderate politics” and is “pretty close to center” but said that extreme political views and “pretty outrageous things” should be allowed on the site as long as they don’t violate the law, Bloomberg reported.

Musk also reiterated that he was leaning toward supporting Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for president in 2024, the New York Times reported.

In response to employee questions, Musk said that top performing Twitter employees could be allowed to work from home forever, but that it is “much better if you are on location physically.”

“If someone can only work remotely and they’re exceptional, it wouldn’t make sense to fire them,” Musk reportedly said.

Twitter currently allows most employees to work remotely as much as they want.

Musk has taken a hard line toward remote work at Tesla, ordering all employees back into the office for a bare minimum of 40 hours per week, save for “particularly exceptional contributors” who he personally approves himself.

Wedbush Securities managing director Dan Ives told The Post that the meeting highlighted a “clear contrast in culture” between Musk and Twitter while doing little to assuage investors.

“The Musk Twitter all-hands call was the wrong call at the wrong time,” he said.

Elsewhere during the call, Musk said he would be interested in Twitter becoming similar to China’s WeChat app, which is a one-stop-shop for everything from messaging to payments to shopping.

“You basically live on WeChat,” he said, adding that he wants Twitter to one day reach 1 billion users.

Elon Musk
“I have seen no actual evidence for aliens,” Musk said.
AFP via Getty Images

He also offered a high-minded vision for what Twitter should be in five to 10 years, saying the company should be “contributing to a stronger, longer lasting civilization where we are better able to understand the nature of reality.”

The company currently has roughly 229 million monetizable daily active users, though Musk has repeatedly questioned how many of those users are bots. He reiterated his concern about bots during Thursday’s meeting.

Musk also said that he’s not necessarily committed to being CEO of Twitter but wants to take an active role driving improvements to the company’s products, according to Bloomberg.

Musk showed up 10 minutes late to the meeting and dialed in from his phone, according to Verge editor Alex Heath. Ives called Musk showing up late “flippant” and “not a good look.”

In a strange turn, Musk’s Twitter chat briefly turned to aliens.

“I have seen no actual evidence for aliens,” Musk said, according to Bloomberg.