Upon hearing the news that Elon Musk would be buying Twitter last week, numerous employees of the social media platform suffered meltdowns. Twitter employees are purportedly still having difficulty coming to terms with the prospect of the Tesla CEO becoming their boss.
In an "impromptu" all-hands meeting on Friday, Twitter employees voiced their "anger and frustration" to executives regarding Musk purchasing the popular social media network, according to a report.
Twitter employees "hammered executives" regarding potential transformations to the company when Musk takes over the company, according to an audio recording reviewed by Insider.
The report stated, "Described as looking tired and at times annoyed by a person who attended the meeting, CEO Parag Agrawal was mostly terse."
Agrawal – who became the CEO of Twitter in November 2021 when Jack Dorsey resigned – admitted that he has regrets, according to the report.
"I wish we had done better with lots of things," Agrawal purportedly said. "There are things I disagree with fundamentally. I wanted us together to change those things in the interest of improving, introspecting and making Twitter better for everyone around the world and to have everyone around the world use Twitter and have it be even more impactful."
An "angry and disappointed" employee allegedly asked Agrawal about the possibility of layoffs when Musk acquires the company.
Agrawal reportedly conceded that firings are possible, and allegedly said, "Different organizations have different cultures, but they've excelled. It will be different here than what it is today, but for the people who are here, it will be worth it to be here."
A Reuters report from last week said Musk attempted to persuade lending institutions to back his Twitter acquisition by promising to slash the salaries of executives.
An employee asked about the $1 billion termination fee that the Tesla CEO will have to pay if his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter falls through.
Vijaya Gadde – Twitter's head of legal, policy, and trust – allegedly explained that the provision should be seen as "an incentive in some ways to perform the contract."
"But the contract itself has very strong requirements to perform," Gadde said, according to Insider. "What I mean by that is there's a provision in the contract that says Twitter can sue to have the contract enforced. So, as we say, it's not just about the termination fee. It's all the provisions and how they play together to create deal certainty."
An employee reportedly asked, "What should we tell the LGTBQ community at recruiting conferences we're lined up to attend when they ask us why they should come work at Twitter when we just sold ourselves to an open homophobe and transphobe?"
Dalana Brand – Twitter's chief people and diversity officer – allegedly replied, "I cannot speak to Elon's personal feelings on these things. I can't speak to what he's done in his other companies, in terms of people's experiences. Perhaps in the future we'll be able to have a conversation. That may be telling."
"What I can tell you is that, while I am here, Twitter will continue to prioritize DEI," Brand reportedly added. "We'll continue to prioritize our people, we'll continue to fight for inclusion and diversity for all of our teams. Full stop. I can't speak to Elon and what Elon will do in the future."
According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Musk "has a record of posting content targeting LGBTQ people." The LGBTQ activist group cites a 2020 tweet by Musk that reads: "I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare."
In 2022, Tesla notched a 100 score from the Human Rights Campaign, including a perfect score in the "Supporting an Inclusive Culture & Corporate Social Responsibility" category.
"The company did in fact score 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s yearly report, which noted workforce protections for sexual orientation and gender identity or expression — which would include the proper use of pronouns — as well as inclusive benefits and culture of corporate social responsibility," The Hill reported in 2020.
In February 2021, Tesla announced: "Proud to have scored 100/100 in LGBTQ equality for the 6th year in a row."
At the end of the meeting, Agrawal urged employees to be optimistic.
"It's important in these moments to think of what we have built as being resilient," Agrawal told employees, according to the report. "That's what we should take pride in and that should help us feel comforted with what lies ahead. If we see this as an opportunity, it will manifest as an opportunity. If we see this as doom and gloom, it will manifest as doom and gloom."