Twitter owner Elon Musk told employees on Thursday that he is not sure how much run rate the company has and that bankruptcy is not out of the question, the Managing Editor of tech newsletter Platformer tweeted.
Musk is participating in an all-hands meeting with Twitter employees, a source told Reuters.
Twitter did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment from Reuters.
The revelation came after reports that several top executives have jumped Musk’s sinking ship — including Yoel Roth, the company’s Head of Safety & Integrity, and Chief Security Officer Lea Kissner.
Chief Privacy Officer Damien Kieran and Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty have also resigned, according to an internal message seen by Reuters.
The exodus follows Musk’s move to swiftly clean house after taking over Twitter for $44 billion on Oct. 27. He announced plans to cut half its workforce last week, promised to stop fake accounts and is charging $8 a month for the Twitter Blue service that will include a blue check verification.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it was watching Twitter with “deep concern” after the social media platform’s top privacy and compliance officers quit, potentially putting it at risk of violating regulatory orders.
“We are tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern,” Douglas Farrar, the FTC’s director of public affairs, told Reuters.
“No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees. Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we are prepared to use them,” Farrar said.
In May, Twitter agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations by the FTC it misused private information, like phone numbers, to target advertising to users after telling them the information was collected only for security reasons.
An attorney on Twitter’s privacy team reported the executive departures in a note seen by Reuters and posted to Twitter’s Slack messaging system on Thursday.
In the note, the attorney mentioned hearing Twitter’s legal chief Alex Spiro say that Musk was willing to take a “huge amount of risk” with Twitter. “Elon puts rockets into space, he’s not afraid of the FTC,” the attorney quoted Spiro as saying.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on the FTC warning, the note from the attorney or the departures. Spiro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since taking charge, Musk has fired former Chief Executive Parag Agrawal and other top management, and the company’s advertising and marketing chiefs left soon afterwards, adding to concerns that Twitter does not have enough people in place to monitor that it remains compliant with regulations.
The takeover has also sparked concerns that Musk, who has often waded into political debates, could face pressure from countries trying to control online speech.
It prompted U.S. President Joe Biden to say on Wednesday that Musk’s “cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at.”
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