Musk is the perfect example of taking a joke too far. After airing his gripe with Twitter's free-speech principles and toying with the idea of building a rival platform, the eccentric billionaire and supposed visionary spent a small fortune to become the largest shareholder of the social media company. What followed was months of legal wrangling in a will he, won't he saga that ultimately ended in Musk being forced to buy the entirety of Twitter for more than what it's probably worth.
Musk probably felt very stupid about the whole thing but has now likely fallen victim to the sunk-cost fallacy. Instead of reflecting on the decisions that led him to liquidate some of his own net worth to buy Twitter for $44 billion, he spent his first few days at the company making dumb jokes, laying off employees, and crowning himself CEO.
Now he's hell-bent on burning the company to the ground.
Just last week, Twitter asked the remaining employees at the company to choose between "working long hours at high intensity" or GTFO. Understandably, hundreds of employees opted to depart instead of working for a megalomaniac, leaving Twitter with a skeleton crew struggling to fix bugs and preventing service outages.
Meanwhile, Musk is trying to find someone else to run Twitter. Clearly, fixing the social media company's problems is beyond Musk's depth, so he wants someone else to take responsibility while he justifies his ungodly compensation at electronic vehicle firm Tesla. But here's the thing though: Musk decided to lead Twitter of his own accord. If he had no intention of running the business, he could have just left former CEO Parag Agrawal to run Twitter until a replacement was found. In fact, one has to wonder why Musk decided to buy Twitter in the first place and whether personally involving himself in content moderation is a good idea.
Twitter's former execs are probably having a laugh right now, having used the billionaire's hostile takeover bid to jump ship and make millions while leaving the world's richest man to fix the problems that plague the social media company, including its lack of profitability. For now, Musk seems more focused on spurring former U.S. President Donald Trump back to the platform, despite the latter declining the offer after being unbanned from Twitter.
Twitter ranked #52 in this week's tech company rankings while Tesla ranked #78.
Layoffs Reach Amazon⛈️
And so it happened. Amazon has decided to let go of nearly 10,000 people, following in the footsteps of other tech companies, both small and large, in course correcting now that the COVID-19 pandemic is virtually over.
Meanwhile, The Verge published a damning report on a less-known practice at Amazon of hiring employees in India and Costa Rica to review warehouse camera footage in a bid to train the company's warehouse-monitoring algorithms. True to form, Amazon treats its employees even more poorly in low-cost countries, with workers calling their jobs "stressful," "mind-numbing," and "crushing."
Amazon ranked #14 in this week's rankings.
Business Chat is Where It's At 🤑🤑🤑
In yet another sign that Mark Zuckerberg's focus on the metaverse is doomed to fail, the Meta CEO acknowledged the company's messaging apps WhatsApp and Messenger will drive sales sooner than Horizon Worlds.
"We talk a lot about the very long-term opportunities like the metaverse, but the reality is that business messaging is probably going to be the next major pillar of our business as we work to monetize WhatsApp and Messenger more," Zuck was heard telling employees in a company-wide meeting following Meta's decision to let go of 11,000 people.
Meta ranked #16 in this week's rankings, while Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta, ranked #1 and #3 respectively.
It's Worse Than It Looks 😱
FTX's new CEO John Jay Ray III — notable for managing the largest corporate failures in history, including Enron's — said he had never in his career seen such a complete failure of corporate controls.
Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers scrambled to figure out who to blame for the lax oversight at FTX whose former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, or SBF, is said to be hunkered down in an upscale neighborhood in the Bahamas as his now-failed crypto exchange flags nearly $3.1 billion in money owed to its 50 biggest creditors.
In Other News..📰
- Note-taking and task management app Evernote is being acquired by Italian app developer Bending Spoons. 🤝
- Google, which ranked #18 this week, set rules on who employees invite for talks at its headquarters. 🔍
- Bob Iger is back at Walt Disney Co., BABY! The former CEO, responsible for acquiring Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar during his tenure, replaces Bob Chapek after just two years of retiring from the role. 👨💼
And that's a wrap! This has been the tech company brief, and you were reading Issue #25! See y’all next week. PEACE ☮️
— Sheharyar Khan, Editor, Business Tech @ HackerNoon