Elon Musk tells Twitter staff bankruptcy is possible

New chief executive says 'difficult times ahead' as turmoil at social network continues

The building that houses the Twitter office in New York. AP
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Elon Musk, in his first address to Twitter employees since purchasing the company for $44 billion, said that bankruptcy was a possibility, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Yoel Roth and Robin Wheeler, two executives who until today had been part of Mr Musk’s new leadership team, have resigned, said another person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing non-public information.

Mr Musk pushed out most of the social network’s top executive team when his acquisition closed last month.

Mr Roth had since taken over all of the social network’s Trust and Safety efforts, while Ms Wheeler, a sales vice president, had recently stepped up to oversee relations with jittery advertisers concerned about content.

The social network has a significant debt burden from the acquisition and has seen a pullback from some advertisers that are concerned about Mr Musk’s plans for content moderation. The Information and Platformer earlier reported Mr Musk’s bankruptcy statement.

In discussing Twitter’s finances and future, Mr Musk said the company needed to move with urgency to make its $8 subscription product, Twitter Blue, something users will want to pay for given the pull back by advertisers affecting revenue.

Mr Musk in an email late on Wednesday warned employees of “difficult times ahead”, with “no way to sugarcoat the message” about the economic outlook for the company. He ended employees’ ability to work remotely unless he personally approved it.

On Thursday, the changes resulted in several major advertisers getting impersonated by accounts with blue check marks, indicating verification.

Earlier, Twitter’s chief information security officer, chief privacy officer and chief compliance officer departed, raising concerns about the company’s ability to keep its platform secure and comply with regulatory rules.

Twitter is currently bound by a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission that regulates how the company handles user data and could be subject to fines for breaches.

Updated: November 10, 2022, 11:21 PM