Why Running Twitter Has Been Painful – Elon Musk

Twitter boss Elon Musk has told the BBC that running the company has been “quite painful” and “a rollercoaster”.

However, the multi-billionaire entrepreneur also says that he would sell the company if the right person came along.

Mr Musk, who also runs car maker Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX, bought Twitter for $44bn (£35.4bn) in October.

He was taking part in an interview on Twitter Spaces, which attracted more than three million listeners.

Asked whether he had any regrets about buying Twitter, Mr Musk said the “pain level has been extremely high, this hasn’t been some kind of party”.

Talking about his time at Twitter so far, Mr Musk said: “It’s not been boring. It’s been quite a rollercoaster.”

It has been “really quite a stressful situation over the last several months”, he added, but said he still felt that buying the company was the right thing to do.

He said things are going “reasonably well”, stating that usage of the site is up and “the site works”.

The workload means that “I sometimes sleep in the office”, he said, adding that he has a spot on a couch in a library “that no one goes to”.

Asked about the decision to add a label to the BBC’s main Twitter account describing it as “government funded media”, Mr Musk said: “I know the BBC is generally not thrilled about being labelled state media.”

Earlier this week, the corporation contacted the social media giant over the designation on the @BBC account to resolve the issue “as soon as possible”.

“The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee,” it said.

Discussing Twitter’s finances, Mr Musk said the company is now “roughly breaking even”, as most of its advertisers have returned.

He also said that cutting the workforce from around 7,000 at the time he bought the firm to about 1,500 had not been easy.

The exit of many of engineers since Mr Musk bought the company has raised concerns about the stability of the platform.

He acknowledged some glitches, including outages on the site. But he said that the outages have not been for very long and the site is currently working fine.

On the issue of legacy verified blue ticks on the platform, Mr Musk said they will be removed from accounts by the end of next week.

“I actually do have a lot of respect for the BBC,” Mr Musk added, stating that the interview was “a good opportunity to ask some questions” and “to get some feedback on what we should be doing different”.

Mr Musk has an estimated personal fortune of almost $190bn, making him the world’s second richest person, according to the Forbes billionaires list.



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