I have too much on my plate, says Twitter owner Elon Musk

The billionaire says he is working from morning to night after buying the social media platform

Elon Musk speaks online with Anindya Bakrie, left, of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the B20 Summit in Bali. AFP
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New Twitter owner Elon Musk said he “has too much work” on his plate as he deals with running several companies, including the social media platform, which is undergoing big changes.

Mr Musk, the world's richest person, was asked about his purchase of Twitter and leadership of electric car maker Tesla when he made an online appearance on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

He said he was working “at the absolute most amount … from morning to night, seven days a week” as he appeared on a dimly-lit screen at the event.

He also runs SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company.

Responding to an observation that many business leaders in Asia wanted to be the “Elon Musk of the East”, he said: “I'd be careful what you wish for. I'm not sure how many people would actually like to be me. They would like to be what they imagine being me, which is not the same thing as actually being me. The amount that I torture myself is next level, frankly.”

Last week, he told Twitter staff that he was against remote work and would only grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

“The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” he wrote in an email to employees following his $44bn acquisition.

New rules stipulate employees have to be in the office for at least 40 hours a week.

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Mr Musk dismissed about half of Twitter's workforce, amounting to thousands of staff, in the past two weeks as he aims to cut costs, having said the company was losing $4 million per day.

More staff were cut during the weekend, according to the Associated Press, with outsourced content moderators losing their jobs.

Twitter has not said how many contract workers it cut or responded to media requests for information since Mr Musk took over.

On Monday morning, he became embroiled in an online disagreement over free lunches for staff at Twitter.

The New York Times reported that the free meals at the company cafeteria were being revoked, and Mr Musk tweeted that “almost no one came to the office” and the “estimated cost per lunch served in the past 12 months is more than $400".

Former Twitter employee Tracy Hawkins, who tweeted that she resigned from the company a week ago, said that for breakfast and lunch $20 to $25 a day per person was spent.

She said this enabled employees to work through lunchtime and meetings and attendance was 20 to 50 per cent in the offices.

Mr Musk fired back, saying that Twitter spent $13m a year on food service for its San Francisco headquarters.

“There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast,” he tweeted. “They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building.”

Meanwhile, Twitter Blue will probably “come back end of next week”, Mr Musk said on Saturday.

Twitter on Friday paused its recently announced $8 blue check subscription service on Friday, as fake accounts mushroomed.

Updated: November 14, 2022, 6:34 AM
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