Though there have been recent doubts surrounding Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, Musk is set to start fielding questions from Twitter employees later this week.
A virtual meeting is set for Thursday, a Twitter representative told CNN. At that meeting, Musk will answer pre-submitted employee questions.
Throughout the drama of Musk’s $44 billion Twitter deal, employees have voiced concerns.
The day after the acquisition agreement was announced in late April, the social media platform’s CEO Parag Agrawal and Board Chairman Bret Taylor held a meeting with the employees, according to CNN.
At that meeting, they were “peppered with questions about everything from what the deal would mean for their compensation to what Musk’s takeover could mean for the company’s commitment to ethical artificial intelligence,” CNN reported.
Agrawal stated that he would try to find time for employees to ask specific questions to Musk. Now, they are getting that opportunity.
Already, some are predicting that employees will be coming to Musk with questions about his plans to boost “free speech” on the platform.
In light of Musk’s recent announcement that the executive staff the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, where Musk is CEO, staff will be required to return to the office, the business magazine Fortune predicted that Twitter employees may ask Musk about the workplace environment and flexibility.
Regardless of where the Twitter deal is at this time, Musk’s motives in talking to Twitter employees may be much bigger than just addressing the workplace environment and free speech practices.
In fact, one close observer of the deal noted that Musk could be using the meeting to serve his own ends.
“I think it’s another game,” Aron Solomon, the head of strategy and chief legal analyst for Esquire Digital, told the Western Journal in an email.
One of Musk’s goals, according to Solomon, could be a form of due diligence. The consulting firm Business Benefits Group defines “due diligence” as the process that “allows the buyer to confirm pertinent information about the seller, such as contracts, finances and customers. By gathering this information, the buyer is better equipped to make an informed decision and close the deal with a sense of certainty.”
But due to the speedy nature of Musk’s Twitter deal, he actually waived his rights to due diligence in April, when he first struck the deal with Twitter’s board, Forbes senior editor Abram Brown wrote last week.
“Most merger agreements do have an obligation on the sellers’ part to assist the buyer with due diligence. But Musk waived that,” George Geis, a corporate law professor at the University of Virginia, told Brown.
And a sense of certainty has certainly been lacking at times in Musk’s proposed Twitter purchase.
In the past month, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has been slowed down due to the issue of spam and bot accounts on the platform.
Musk tweeted on May 13, that the Twitter deal was “temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”
Musk pressured Twitter to give him all the data he requested on spam and fake accounts.
He made a direct threat on June 6, to walk away from his deal and accused Twitter of breaching the merger agreement by “actively resisting and thwarting his information rights,” CNN reported.
But it is unclear whether Musk will be able to use the data to effectively count the spam and bots on the platform, so the deal is still uncertain.
The Musk meeting with Twitter employees could be another avenue for him to gain information about the company, Solomon wrote.
“It’s a way for him to do discovery on the deal,” Solomon wrote in his email to The Western Journal. “Talking to employees is a (very late) form of due diligence. Who knows what he’ll learn?”
Another of Musk’s real aims could be to keep himself and the deal at the top of the public’s attention, Solomon wrote.
“I think the fact that we’re talking about this move proves that no matter the result, it was a successful one,” he added.
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