Elon Musk has pulled more than 50 Tesla employees into Twitter

The Twitter profile page belonging to Elon Musk viewed on an Apple iPhone mobile phone.

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brand new Twitter CEO Elon Musk has pulled out more than 50 of his trusts Tesla The employees, mostly software engineers from the Autopilot team, took over his Twitter account, CNBC has learned.

Musk, who is the chief executive of car maker Tesla and reusable rocket maker SpaceX, completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter on Oct. 28 and immediately made his mark there. He immediately fired the company’s CEO, chief financial officer, policy and legal team leaders and dissolved Twitter’s board of directors.

According to internal records seen by CNBC, employees of Musk’s other companies are now authorized to work on Twitter, including more than 50 from Tesla, two from The Boring Company (which builds underground tunnels). and one from Neuralink (which enhances the brain. – computer interface).

Some of Musk’s friends, advisers and supporters, including his family office chief Jared Birchall, angel investor Jason Kalakanis, and PayPal’s founding chief operating officer and venture capitalist David Sachs, are also involved. So are two people who share Musk’s last name, James and Andrew Musk, who worked at Palantir and NeuralLink, respectively.

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Among the dozens of people Elon Musk specifically listed from Tesla: Ashok Eluswami, director of software development, Milan Kovac, director of Autopilot and Tesla Bot engineering, Maha Virduhgiri, head of software engineering; Pete Scheutzow, senior staff technical program manager, and Jack Nocon, part of Tesla’s surveillance unit, as senior manager of security intelligence.

Noken used to work for it Uber and Nisos, a security firm that had a multimillion-dollar contract with Tesla to identify insider threats, and monitor critics of the company.

On Twitter, Musk relies on his followers and followers to decide who and what to cut or keep on the social network.

He’s also pushing them to quickly learn everything about Twitter, from source code to content moderation and data privacy requirements, so he can redesign the platform. Finally told CNBC.

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Musk touts himself as a free speech advocate, but he must balance those aspirations with laws and business realities. “Twitter clearly cannot become a free-for-all hell, where anything can be said without consequence,” he said in an open letter to advertisers last week when he took over the company.

It was not immediately clear how Tesla employees are expected to split their schedules between the automaker and Twitter.

Typically, when Tesla employees work for other Elon Musk companies, usually SpaceX or the Boring Company, they can get paid by the other company as a consultant. Some of Musk’s employees have full-time roles in more than one of his businesses. For example, Tesla’s vice president of materials, Charlie Kuhn, is also vice president at SpaceX.

At another time, two Tesla employees told CNBC, the electric car maker is pushing workers to help with projects at other companies for extra pay because it looks good for their careers. , or that the work is considered to be a contribution to a related party. transaction or project.

Tesla is facing serious scrutiny around the technology developed and maintained by its Autopilot team, namely its driver assistance systems, which are marketed as Autopilot, FSD and FSD Beta.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles are all investigating whether Tesla or Musk violated laws and misled consumers about Tesla’s driver assistance systems, which are still in development. are in and do not make the company’s cars themselves. driving a car

Meanwhile, the federal vehicle safety agency, NHTSA, continues to investigate whether Tesla’s driver assistance system may have had defects that contributed to or caused the crashes. The way Tesla markets these systems on social media, including Twitter, is at least part of the scope of NHTSA’s investigation.

Code reviews and 12-hour changes

Several Twitter employees told CNBC over the weekend that Tesla employees are now involved in code reviews on the social network at Twitter, while the skills to work on Autopilot and other Tesla software and hardware directly The type does not change with the languages ​​and systems used. Create and maintain a social network. The employees asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the press about internal matters, and fear reprisals.

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For example, many engineers at car companies, even tech-forward Tesla, lack experience designing and running search engines and platforms that are widely accessible to the public.

Twitter has multiple codebases with millions of lines of code each, and 10- or even 100-questions-per-second (QPS) systems run it. At Tesla, Python is one of the preferred scripting languages, and Scala is widely used by Twitter programmers.

Twitter also has more exposure to international regulations around hate speech and data privacy, for example, in particular the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Twitter employees who were there before Musk took over said they were asked to show his teams all the technical documentation, justify their work and their team’s work, and explain their value to the company. . They said, if they don’t make an impact, they threaten to fire them.

Employees said they were concerned about being fired without reason or notice, not being fired. Some are worried they won’t be able to receive stock option awards scheduled for the first week of November, according to documents seen by CNBC.

Meanwhile, Twitter employees said they have yet to receive specific plans from Musk and his team, and are largely in the dark about potential headcount cuts across their teams, budgets and long-term strategies.

However, Musk has set a near-impossible time to list some things.

An immediate project is to redesign the company’s subscription software, called Twitter Blue, and the company’s verification system (sometimes known as “Blue Check” for the way they are displayed on the service). . Employees say Musk wants to have it done by the first week of November. The Verge previously reported that Musk wants to charge $20 per user per month, and only give verification marks to the accounts of users who are paid subscribers, and remove verification from accounts that are for Twitter Blue. does not pay

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Managers at Twitter have instructed some employees to work 12-hour days, seven days a week, to meet Musk’s aggressive deadline, according to internal communications. Sprint orders without discussing overtime pay or comp time, or job security. Completing the job in early November is seen as a make-or-break issue for their careers at Twitter.

In an atmosphere of fear and distrust, many Twitter employees have stopped communicating with each other on internal systems about workplace issues. What’s more, some Slack Twitter channels have been virtually silenced, several employees told CNBC.

Meanwhile, Musk and his inner circle are plumbing archived messages in the systems, apparently looking for people to fire and slash budgets or projects.

On Sunday night, in a show of his unfettered access to insider information at the company, CEO Elon Musk (who calls himself “Chief Tweet” but is officially CEO and sole chairman) Posted a screenshot to his 112 million listed followers on Twitter.

The screenshot shows a statement from Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, in May 2022. At the time, Musk was trying to get out of his deal to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share.

In court, and publicly, Musk has accused Twitter of falsifying metrics, particularly the amount of spam, fake accounts and malware that exist on the platform.

In an internal message released by Musk, Ruth wrote disparagingly about a business associate named Amir, noting that if Amir is “BS” about goals and key results. To continue, Twitter will “literally do anything. Elon accuses us of doing it.”

musk claimed in a tweet that, “Watchtel and the Twitter board deliberately withheld this evidence from the court.” He also appeared to threaten further legal action, writing: “Watch out, more to come…”

Representatives for Twitter, Tesla and the law firm Wachtel, Lipton, Rosen & Katz have not yet responded to requests for comment.


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