Elon Musk has pulled more than 50 Tesla employees into Twitter

Elon Musk’s Twitter account is viewed on an Apple iPhone mobile phone.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Photographic images

Again Twitter Owner Elon Musk has pulled more than 50 of his loyalists Tesla employees, mostly software engineers from the Autopilot team, when he took over Twitter, CNBC has learned.

Musk, who is the CEO of the Tesla car maker and the reusable rocket maker SpaceX, completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter on October 28 and immediately made his mark on then. He immediately fired the company’s CEO, chief financial officer, policy and legal team leaders, and also fired Twitter’s board of directors.

According to internal records reviewed by CNBC, employees from Musk’s other companies were allowed to work on Twitter, including more than 50 from Tesla, two from the Boring Company (building underground tunnels ) and another from Neuralink (developing brain. -computer vision).

Some of Musk’s friends, advisors and supporters include the head of his family office Jared Birchall, angel investor Jason Calacanis, and the founding CEO of PayPal and with economist David Sacks. So two people who share Musk’s last name, James and Andrew Musk, worked at Palantir and Neuralink.

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Among the dozens Elon Musk signed up from Tesla: director of software development Ashok Elluswamy, director of Autopilot and TeslaBot engineer Milan Kovac, senior director of software engineering Maha Virduhagiri; Pete Scheutzow, a senior technical project manager, and Jake Nocon, who is part of Tesla’s security team, as chief information security officer.

Nocon has already done no Uber and Nisos, a security company that has a multimillion-dollar contract with Tesla to identify insider threats, and target critics of the company.

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

He urges them to learn everything they can about Twitter as quickly as possible, from the source code to data exchange and privacy requirements, so they can to redesign the platform, several Twitter employees told CNBC over the weekend.

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Musk has accused himself of having a free speech, but he has to balance those interests with laws and business interests. He said in an open letter to reporters last week when he was taking over the company: “Twitter cannot be a free hellscape, where it is said with the no result.”

It is not immediately clear whether Tesla employees plan to split their work schedule between the automaker and Twitter.

Usually, when Tesla employees work for Elon Musk’s other companies, usually SpaceX or the Boring Company, they can be paid by the other company as a consultant. Some of Musk’s employees have full-time jobs at more than one of his businesses. For example, Tesla Vice President of Materials Charlie Kuehmann, a vice president at SpaceX.

In other cases, two Tesla employees told CNBC, the electric car maker’s employees are forced to help with projects at its other companies for free because it’s seen as good for the company. their business, or because the work is expected to help with a related organization. project or project.

Tesla is facing serious scrutiny regarding the technology developed and maintained by its Autopilot group, including its driver assistance systems, sold as Autopilot, FSD and FSD Beta.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles are investigating whether Tesla or Musk broke laws and misled consumers about driver assistance systems and Tesla is still developing and not manufacturing the company’s cars. driving.

However, the federal motor vehicle safety authority, NHTSA, continues to investigate whether Tesla’s driver assistance systems have had defects that may have contributed to them. The way Tesla sells these systems on social media, including Twitter, is part of at least one NHTSA investigation.

Code reviews and 12-hour changes

Several Twitter employees told CNBC over the weekend that current Tesla employees at Twitter are involved in code review on the network, even though their skills come from working on Autopilot and other Tesla apps. and equipment that is not directly related to the languages ​​and systems used. build and maintain an online business. These workers asked not to be named because they are not allowed to talk to the press about local matters, and fear retribution.

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For example, most of the engineers in the car industry, including Tesla in the front, have no experience in designing and creating search engines and platforms that are accessible to the public. .

There are many Twitter codebases with millions of lines of code each, and 10- or 100-query per second (QPS) systems below. At Tesla, Python is one of the most popular scripting languages, and at Twitter programmers use Scala a lot.

Twitter is also aware of international regulations on hate speech and data privacy, for example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Twitter employees before Musk took over said they were asked to show his companies all technical documents, to confirm their work and their teams, and explain their value. in the company. They face the threat of deportation if they don’t act, they said.

Employees said they were more concerned about being fired without cause or without a word, than being fired with a divorce. Some are worried that they will not be able to collect the payments of the stock options that are set to be posted in the first week of November, according to the documents reviewed by CNBC.

Meanwhile, Twitter employees say they don’t have specific plans from Musk and his team at the moment, and are mostly in the dark about the possibility of cutting the head in their organization, finances and long-term plans.

Musk has set impossible times for anyone to do the list items, however.

Another immediate project is to redesign the company’s sign-in software, called Twitter Blue, and the company’s verification system (sometimes known as “blue checks” because of the way they sign up). in service). According to employees, Musk wants that job in the first week of November. The Verge previously reported that Musk wants to pay $ 20 per user per month, and only provide verification tokens to the accounts of paid users, and remove the verification from accounts that have not paid for Twitter Blue.

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Officials at Twitter have instructed some employees to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, in order to hit Musk’s critical limits, according to internal communications. The sprint orders came without any discussion about overtime pay or working time, or about job security. The termination of the operation on the first day of November is seen as a make-and-break operation for their business on Twitter.

In an atmosphere of fear and distrust, Twitter employees stopped talking to each other in internal systems about workplace issues. Additionally, some of Twitter’s Slack channels have gone offline, multiple employees told CNBC.

Now, Musk and his inner circle have recorded messages recorded in the systems, looking for people to burn and save money or ​​projects to reduce.

On Sunday night, in the presentation of his access to internal information in the company, CEO Elon Musk (who calls himself “Chief Twit” but is the CEO and the single agent) post a screenshot to his 112 million followers on Twitter.

The photo shows comments made by Twitter’s head of security and privacy, Yoel Roth, in May 2022. At that time, Musk tried to back out of his contract to sell to Twitter for $54.20 each.

In court, and in public, Musk has accused Twitter of manipulating metrics, including playing up the amount of spam, fake accounts and malicious bots that exist. on the platform.

In an internal statement that Musk made public, Roth wrote disparagingly of a person connected to the company named Amir, and also said that if Amir continues to “BS” him or ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​d

Musk said in a tweet it said, “Watchtell & Twitter’s board carefully hid this report from the court.” He appeared to threaten further legal action, writing: “Keep going, more to come…”

Representatives for Twitter, Tesla and legal counsel Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz did not respond to requests for comment.


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