On Friday, Chief Executive Parag Agrawal attempted to calm employee rage during a company-wide meeting in which employees demanded answers about how managers planned to handle an anticipated mass exodus prompted by Elon Musk.
The meeting comes after Musk, the Tesla CEO who sealed a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, repeatedly chastised Twitter’s content moderation practices and a top executive in charge of setting speech and safety policies.
During the internal town hall meeting, which Reuters attended, executives stated that the company would monitor staff attrition on a daily basis, but that it was too early to tell how the buyout deal with Musk would affect staff retention.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Musk has pitched lenders on reducing board and executive salaries, but the exact cost cuts remain unknown.
According to one source, Musk will not make job-cut decisions until he owns Twitter.
“I’m sick of hearing about shareholder value and fiduciary responsibility. What are your honest feelings about the very high likelihood that many employees will be out of work after the deal is completed?” In a question read aloud during the meeting, one Twitter employee asked Agrawal.
Agrawal responded that Twitter has always cared about its employees and will continue to do so in the future.
“I believe the future Twitter organization will continue to care about the world and its customers,” he said.
During the meeting, executives stated that the employee attrition rate has not changed since the news of Musk’s interest in purchasing the company broke.
Musk has recently tweeted criticism of Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, who is a Twitter veteran and well-known in Silicon Valley. Musk’s attack sparked a flood of online harassment directed at her.
Employees also expressed concern to executives that Musk’s erratic behavior could destabilize Twitter’s business and harm its financial prospects as the company prepares to address the advertising world in a presentation next week in New York City.
“Do we have a near-term strategy for dealing with advertisers pulling investment?” one employee inquired.
Twitter’s chief customer officer, Sarah Personette, said the company was working to communicate more frequently with advertisers and reassure them that “the way we service our customers is not changing.”
Following the meeting, a Twitter employee told Reuters that there was little trust in what executives said.
“The PR jargon isn’t sinking in. They told us not to leak and to do a good job, but there is no clear incentive for employees to do so,” the employee told Reuters, noting that non-executive compensation is now capped as a result of the agreement.
According to research firm Equilar, Agrawal would receive $42 million if he were fired within 12 months of a change in control at the social media company.
During the meeting, Agrawal urged employees to expect change in the future under new leadership and admitted that the company could have done better over the years.
“Yes, there were things we could have done differently and better.” I had the option of doing things differently. “I think about it a lot,” says the author.