Elon Musk divides Twitter staff: ‘daddy’ or ‘racist demagogue’?

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Some Twitter staffers are up in arms about Elon Musk becoming the company’s biggest shareholder and joining its board — while others are grateful that “Daddy Elon” has boosted their stock options and hope he’ll loosen “woke” content moderation rules. 

One Twitter employee changed her name on the site this week to “elon musk is a racist demagogue with a god complex,” while another wrote that Musk’s addition to the company left the “wind knocked out of me and my sails.” 

“So disappointed,” Twitter data scientist Brian Waismeyer wrote on Tuesday in reaction to Musk. “Never been a perfect platform or fully convincing leadership, but I felt the overall direction and room Safety was given were encouraging. What a huge step in the wrong direction.” 

But on Blind, an anonymous corporate message board with verified members, many Twitter staffers celebrated Musk’s addition to the company. 

“Twitter needs to stop all this woke cancel culture crap,” one Twitter employee wrote. “Let’s go Daddy Elon!” 

In response to a post asking if Twitter staffers are worried about Musk’s “values,” another Twitter employee wrote: “You mean Elon might have a diferent [sic] vision for us than an uber-woke far-left censorship platform?” 

Twitter shares have rallied about 30% since Musk’s stake in the company was revealed.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In another Blind thread asking whether any Twitter employees plan to quit in response to Musk, a staffer wrote: “Of the people who are upset, which seems to be a minority, most of them are on the non-tech side of the house.” 

“It’s just a vocal minority,” another Twitter employee said. “Most of the people I’ve talked to are happy the stock price is up.” 

Twitter shares have rallied about 30% since Musk’s stake in the company was revealed, although they’re still down more than 26% over the past year. 

Elon Musk
“Most of the people I’ve talked to are happy the stock price is up,” one Twitter employee wrote in reaction to Musk becoming a shareholder and board member.
AFP via Getty Images

“Why are we gonna leave?” a Twitter employee said. “One board member isn’t gonna shift our entire relaxed [work-life balance], and Elon is only inflating our stock vests.” 

At tech firms like Twitter, employees are often paid a mix of cash and stock options. 

When employees join while a company’s stock is sky-high, they are given fewer options. At Meta, for example, some employees who joined near the company’s all-time-stock high last year are now more than 40% underwater and looking to quit. 

One Twitter employee predicted a similar situation if Elon Musk leaves the company. 

“If anything it’ll suck for people to join during the Elon era bc their starting equity is gonna drop like a rock when he dips,” the employee said. 

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