Elon Musk’s new position on Twitter’s board of directors may be welcomed by millions of his supporters and anyone concerned with free speech, but it isn’t being as well-received by a number of Twitter employees, including a company director.
The Tesla CEO’s acquisition of 9.2% of the social media platform earned him a position on the company’s board, as announced by Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on Tuesday.
As detailed in a thread by journalist Andy Ngo, several Twitter employees spoke out against Musk’s new position, with some expressing how “terrified” they were at the prospect of working for him.
“Cassie Nick Rumbaugh, a data scientist at Twitter, is among the employees and contractors very upset that [Musk] is now the largest stakeholder in Twitter,” reported Ngo.
"A prominent transphobe buying a large stake in Twitter is not at all funny," said Rumbaugh in a tweet. “I’m honestly kinda terrified [right now].”
Rumbaugh, who identifies as a “lady, feminist demisexual genderqueer trans woman” with “she/her” pronouns, punctuated the remarks with a “scared” emoji.
“Gerard Taylor, a senior software engineer at Twitter, is concerned about the leftist company culture following [Musk] becoming the largest shareholder,” Ngo added in another tweet.
Taylor, who sports “he/him” pronouns in his bio wrote: “My current sentiment: Stock is up! YAY! But what about our company culture?”
“Looks like I picked a good week to be off,” echoed Geri Kidd, a recruiting manager for the social media company. Kidd boasts a “#blacklivesmatter” and “she/her” pronouns in her Twitter bio.
“Ashna Guliani, a Twitter software engineer, posted a video of a crying woman to show how upset she is over [Musk] becoming the largest stakeholder in the company,” reported Ngo.
“Haraldur Thorleifsson, who directs creative services for Twitter, states his dislike for [Musk] after the billionaire became the company's largest stakeholder.”
“Jay Holler, Twitter's engineering manager, says [Musk] becoming a Twitter board member has ‘radicalized’ & ‘broken’ him. He's trying everything he can to stop Musk. Holler previously donated to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which helped rioters, rapists & murderers in 2020,” reported Ngo in the conclusion of his series of tweets.
“For the first time, [Twitter] leadership includes someone I had proactively Blocked on this platform” wrote Holler. “The problem with [Musk] is that he has demonstrated a pattern of harmful behaviour consistently that disproportionately impacts marginalized people, so maybe let’s not give him any more power than he already stole?”
Given that Musk made every one of Twitter’s shareholders a profit in his acquisition of the platform’s stocks, which rose by more than 27% in premarket trading on Tuesday, one might assume that they would be more thankful for his presence on the board.
Twitter, it’s worth noting, once branded itself the “free speech wing of the free speech party.” In that regard, Musk ought to be a perfect fit for the company’s leadership.