Elon Musk has pulled more than 50 Tesla employees into Twitter

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

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new Twitter Owner Elon Musk has touched his 50-plus trusts Tesla The employees, mostly software engineers from the Autopilot team, are taking over his Twitter account, CNBC has learned.

Musk, who is 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 also fired Twitter 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 at Tesla, two at Boring Company (which builds underground tunnels) and one at Neuralink (which makes brain is developing). – computer interface).

Some of Musk’s friends, advisers and backers, including his family office chief Jared Burchel, angel investor Jason Calacanis, and PayPal’s founding chief operating officer and venture capitalist David Sachs. Then there are two people who share Musk’s last name, James and Andrew Musk, who worked at Palantir and Neuralink, respectively.

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Among the ranks Elon Musk specifically listed from Tesla are: Director of Software Development Ashok Elswami, Director of Autopilot and Tesla Bot Engineering Milan Kovic, Senior Director of Software Engineering Mahavarduhgiri; Pete Scheutzow, a senior staff technical program manager, and Jake Nocon, who is part of Tesla’s surveillance unit, as senior manager of security intelligence.

Nocon worked earlier Uber and Nisos, a security company that had a multi-million dollar contract with Tesla to identify insider threats, and monitor the company’s critics.

On Twitter, Musk is counting on his lieutenants and loyalists to decide who and what to cut or keep on the social network.

He’s also pressing them to learn everything about Twitter as quickly as possible, from source code to content moderation and data privacy requirements, so he can redesign the platform. Several Twitter employees told CNBC over the weekend.

Musk has declared himself a free speech autocrat, but he has to balance those ambitions with the law and business realities. He said in an open letter to advertisers last week when he was taking over the company: “Twitter clearly cannot become a free-for-all hell, where anything can be said without consequence.”

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 projects, usually SpaceX or the Boring Company, they may be paid by the other entity as a consultant. Some of Musk’s employees have full-time roles at more than one of his businesses. For example, Tesla Vice President of Materials Charlie Cohman is also a Vice President at SpaceX.

Other times, two Tesla employees told CNBC, electric vehicle workers are pressured to help out with other companies’ projects without extra pay because it’s seen as good for their careers, or Because the work is considered with the help of the related party. transaction or project.

Tesla is facing serious scrutiny surrounding 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 Department of Justice, 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 and the company’s Cars don’t make themselves. driving

Meanwhile, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Authority, NHTSA, continues to investigate whether Tesla’s driver assistance systems may have contained defects that contributed to or caused the collision. The way Tesla marketed these systems on social media, including Twitter, is part of the scope 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 involved in code reviews for the social network on Twitter, even though their skills are from working on Autopilot and other Tesla software and hardware. Do not directly overlap with languages ​​and systems. Creating and maintaining social networks. Those employees asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the press about internal matters, and for fear of retaliation.

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For example, many engineers at automotive companies, even the tech-forward Tesla, do not have experience designing and operating search engines and platforms that are widely accessible to the public.

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

Twitter is also more exposed to international regulations about 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 told to show their teams all kinds of technical documents, to validate their work and the work of their teams, and their roles within the company. To describe the price. They said that if they are not affected, there is a risk of dismissal.

Employees said they were worried about being fired without reason or warning, rather than with a layoff. Some are worried they won’t be able to receive stock option awards that are set to vest in the first week of November, according to documents seen by CNBC.

Meanwhile, Twitter employees said they still haven’t received specific plans from Musk and his team, and are largely in the dark about possible headcount in their groups, budgets and long-term strategy. .

Musk has set almost impossible deadlines to list a few things.

An immediate project is to redesign the company’s subscription software, dubbed Twitter Blue, and the company’s authentication system (sometimes known as “blue checks” as they are displayed on the service). Employees say Musk wants the work done by the first week of November. The Verge previously reported that Musk wanted to charge $20 per user per month, and would only place verification marks on the accounts of users who are paid subscribers, and would remove verification from accounts that use Twitter Blue. Don’t pay.

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Managers at Twitter have instructed some employees to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, to hit Musk’s aggressive deadlines, according to internal communications. The sprint orders came without any discussion about overtime pay or comp time, or job security. Completing the task by the early November deadline is seen as a make-or-break issue for their careers on 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 of Twitter’s slowest channels have been virtually silenced, several employees told CNBC.

Meanwhile, Musk and his inner circle have been plumbing messages stored in the system, apparently looking to fire people and slash budgets or projects.

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

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

In court, and in public, Musk has clearly accused Twitter of falsifying metrics, specifically reducing the amount of spam, fake accounts and malicious bots that exist on the platform.

In an internal message that was made public to Musk, Ruth wrote disparagingly of a business associate named Amir, and also said that if Amir continued to “BS” her or others about his goals and key results, Twitter ” What is literally doing. Elon is blaming us.

musk Allegedly in a tweet That, “Wachtell and the Twitter board deliberately hid this evidence from the court.” He also appeared to threaten further legal action, writing: “Stay tuned, more to come…”

Representatives for Twitter, Tesla and law firm Wachtel, Lipton, Rosen & Katz have yet to respond to requests for comment.


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