"For someone on the inside, it's like a building where all the pieces are on fire," an employee disclosed.
It's nice to have some nice furniture, some free food, and some pretty plants to look at here and there in your place of work. But it's not so nice when you are encouraged to buy the same plants. According to an anonymous engineer who spoke to BBC, Elon Musk attempted to persuade Twitter employees to purchase office plants as part of his effort to increase revenue for the company.
The engineer, who did not want to be identified because he is still employed at Twitter, stated that Musk's priority at the company was money. Musk, he claimed, had fired the company's cleaning and catering staff.
"For someone on the inside, it's like a building where all the pieces are on fire," he revealed. "When you look at it from the outside the façade looks fine, but I can see that nothing is working. All the plumbing is broken, all the faucets, everything... There are so many things broken and there's nobody taking care of it, that you see this inconsistent behavior. A totally new person, without the expertise, is doing what used to be done by more than 20 people. That leaves room for much more risk, many more possibilities of things that can go wrong."
Elon Musk tried to sell Twitter's office plants to staff, an unnamed engineer at Twitter told the BBC.— Ⓜ️Ⓜ️ Lauren Ash Davis - OG Meidas Mighty 🇺🇦🌻☮️ (@Meidas_LaurenA) March 7, 2023
Since taking over the site, Musk has tried desperately to cut costs and boost the company's income.
Musk previously auctioned off office furniture. https://t.co/th9VYK4nDX
Business Insider previously reported that cockroaches were spotted at Twitter's New York office, which workers said began to stink after Musk refused to renegotiate the contracts of facilities maintenance workers in charge of cleaning the space. The tech mogul paid $44 billion for Twitter in late October 2022 and has since taken drastic measures in an attempt to cut costs and save the company from bankruptcy. Musk stated in November 2022 that Twitter was losing more than $4 million per day.
Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.
Musk's actions have included laying off thousands of employees—he cut Twitter's workforce in half shortly after taking control of the company. Lisa Jennings Young, Twitter's former head of content design, was one of those responsible for introducing features aimed at protecting users from hate. Long before Musk took over, Twitter was a hotbed for trolling, but she claims her team has made significant progress in limiting this. "It was not at all perfect. But we were trying, and we were making things better all the time," she said.
He also allegedly cut back on free food offered at the Twitter office. According to The New York Times, Twitter was sued for failing to pay some bills, including millions of dollars in rent for its San Francisco headquarters. Another company sued Twitter, alleging that it owed it more than $390,000 in branded merchandise such as T-shirts, socks, stickers, and a "swag gift box" for Musk himself.
Reportedly the office(s) smell after firing cleaning staff. Seems ironic for a guy named Musk. Maybe he should have kept the office plants instead of selling them. Plants help improve indoor air quality but that won’t help with the cockroaches… https://t.co/tqJaSXTEze— CanCanGirl🐱TobyBear🐻PoppyPips &ME! (@CalynaHaunt) March 7, 2023
Apart from cutting costs, Musk has attempted to generate income. He claimed that after taking over the site, Twitter experienced a "massive drop in revenue" as some advertisers dropped out. According to financial filings, advertising will account for nearly 90% of the company's total revenue in 2021. According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter's revenue fell by about 40% in December 2022 compared to the same month in 2021.
He has completely redesigned Twitter Blue, the company's now $8-per-month subscription service. However, he has also used unconventional methods to raise funds. Fortune reports that he auctioned off hundreds of pieces of office furniture from Twitter, including industrial kitchen equipment, statues, coffee machines, and office chairs, apart from just selling office plants to his own staff.