Elon Musk has pulled more than 50 Tesla employees into Twitter

Elon Musk’s Twitter profile page is seen on an Apple iPhone mobile phone.

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New Twitter owner Elon Musk pulled over 50 of his trusty Tesla According to CNBC, employees, mostly software engineers from the Autopilot team, have taken over Twitter.

Musk, the CEO of automaker 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 memos reviewed by CNBC, employees from other Musk companies are now allowed to work on Twitter, including more than 50 at Tesla, two at the Boring Company (building underground tunnels) and one at Neuralink (developing a brain-computer interface).

Some of Musk’s friends, advisers and supporters will also attend, including his family office chief Jared Birchall, angel investor Jason Calacanis and PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist David Sachs. Two people who share Musk’s last name are James and Andrew Musk, who worked at Palantir and Neuralink, respectively.

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Elon Musk is among the dozens of Tesla special-listers: director of software development Ashok Elluswamy, director of Autopilot and TeslaBot engineering Milan Kovacs, senior director of software engineering Maha Virduhagiri; Pete Scheitzow, senior technical program manager, and Jake Nocon, senior manager of security intelligence, part of Tesla’s surveillance division.

Nokon worked before Uber and Nisos, a security company that won a multimillion-dollar contract with Tesla to identify insider threats and monitor critics of the company.

At Twitter, Musk relies on his lieutenants and loyalists to decide who and what to cut or keep on the social network.

It will also force them to redesign the platform, from source code to content moderation and data privacy requirements, so that they can learn about Twitter as quickly as possible, several Twitter employees told CNBC over the weekend.

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Musk has called himself a free speech absolutist, but he must balance those desires with laws and business realities. “Twitter cannot become a free-for-all hell where nothing can be said without consequence,” he said in an open letter to advertisers when he took over the company last week.

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

Typically, when Tesla employees work for other Elon Musk ventures, typically SpaceX or the Boring Company, they may receive a salary from the other venture as a consultant. Some of Musk’s employees have full-time roles in several of his businesses. For example, Tesla’s vice president of materials, Charlie Kuhmann, is also vice president of SpaceX.

Other times, two Tesla employees told CNBC, electric automaker workers are pressured to help out on projects at their other companies for free because it’s considered good for their careers or the work is seen as helping a related party. transaction or project.

Tesla is looking closely at the technology developed and supported by the Autopilot team, specifically the driver assistance systems marketed as Autopilot, FSD and FSD Beta.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the California Department of Motor Vehicles are investigating whether Tesla or Musk broke laws and misled consumers about Tesla’s driver assistance systems. driving

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

Code review and 12 hour shifts

Several Twitter employees told CNBC over the weekend that Tesla employees are now participating in code reviews on Twitter at the social network, even though their skills in Autopilot and other Tesla software and hardware are not directly aligned with the languages ​​and systems already in use. creating and maintaining a social network. Those employees asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the press about internal matters and fear retaliation.

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For example, most engineers at car companies, even Tesla-Tech, have no experience designing and operating publicly available search engines and platforms.

Twitter has several codebases, each containing millions of lines of code, and based on 10 or even 100 queries per second (QPS) systems. At Tesla, Python is one of the scripting languages ​​of choice, and at Twitter, programmers have used Scala extensively.

Twitter is also increasingly subject to international regulations regarding hate speech and data privacy, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Twitter employees who were there before Musk took over said he asked his teams to show them all the technical documentation, justify their work and the work of their teams, and explain their value to the company. If they don’t make an impact, they risk being fired, they said.

Employees said they were concerned about being fired without reason or notice, rather than being fired. Some are worried they won’t be able to take advantage of stock options scheduled for the first week of November, according to filings seen by CNBC.

Meanwhile, Twitter employees said they have yet to receive concrete plans from Musk and his team and are in the dark about possible headcount cuts on their teams, budgets and long-term strategy.

However, Musk has set almost impossible deadlines for some of the items on his list.

One immediate project is the redesign of the company’s subscription software, called Twitter Blue, and the company’s verification system (sometimes called “blue checks,” the way they’re tagged on the service). Employees say Musk wants to finish the job by the first week of November. The Verge previously reported that Musk wants to charge $20 a month per user and only provide verification tokens to the accounts of users with paid subscribers, and remove verification from accounts that don’t pay for Twitter Blue.

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Twitter managers have instructed some employees to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, to meet Musk’s aggressive deadlines, according to internal communications. Sprint orders came without any discussion of overtime or working hours or job security. Completing the task by early November will be seen as a make-or-break issue for their Twitter career.

Amid fear and distrust, many Twitter employees stopped communicating with each other internally about workplace issues. Additionally, some Twitter Slack channels have gone silent, several employees told CNBC.

Meanwhile, Musk and his entourage are combing through archived messages in the system, looking for people to lay off and budgets or projects to cut.

CEO Elon Musk (who calls himself “Twit-in-Chief” but is officially the CEO and sole director) showed off unfettered access to insider information at the company on Sunday evening. posted a screenshot He has 112 million followers on Twitter.

The screenshot shows comments from Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, in May 2022. At the time, Musk tried to back out of a deal to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

In court and in public, Musk has vehemently accused Twitter of undermining false indicators, specifically the number of spam, fake accounts and malicious bots on the platform.

In an internal memo posted by Musk, Roth vilified a business associate named Amir, and noted that Twitter is “literally doing what it’s doing” if Amir continues to “BS” him or others about goals and key results. Elon accuses us.

Musk said in his tweet “Wachtell and Twitter’s board deliberately withheld this evidence from the court.” He also appeared to threaten further legal action, writing: “Stay with us, still to come…”.

Representatives for Twitter, Tesla and the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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