Musk taps over 50 Tesla employees to make Twitter changes

Posted:
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Elon Musk has reportedly looked to his Tesla workforce to help with his transformation of Twitter, with more than 50 software engineers from the car producer working on the microblogging service.

Credit: Tesla
Credit: Tesla


Since taking control of Twitter on October 28, Musk has made many moves to change the company. To help see his plans for the app come to fruition, he's apparently using a workforce that he trusts from his other companies.

According to CNBC, Musk is using more than 50 employees from Tesla at Twitter, as well as two from The Boring Company, and one from brain-computer interface outfit Neuralink. Of the Tesla group, the list is said to be headed up by director of software development Ashok Elluswamy, as well as director of Autopilot and TeslaBot Milan Kovac.

Others said to be involved include family office head Jared Birchall, angel investor Jason Calacanis, and founding PayPal COO David Sacks.

Musk is apparently keen to have his engineers learn as much of Twitter's workings as quickly as possible, including examining the source code and policies regarding data privacy and content moderation.

It is also thought that the Musk-affiliated engineers will be working to determine what parts of Twitter could be cut to make the company leaner and more efficient.

Musk's decision to bring in outside engineers is one of many changes the billionaire has made to Twitter in an extremely short period. Straight after the acquisition, Musk fired top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal.

There has also been the rumored threat of layoffs to staff, though Musk was quick to insist that layoffs wouldn't happen before November 1, as a rumor claimed there was a plan to do so to avoid paying out for stock grants due on that date.

The threat of firing has also been laid to a group of employees to implement changes to verification, which could result in a $20 per month fee to retain the blue checkmark. Musk has also ordered for the revival of video looping app Vine.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    retrogustoDAalsethblastdoorstompylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    Not controversial at all. They will likely be paid as independent contractors by Twitter and receive a 1099 next year for tax purposes. One's original employer (Tesla in this case) cannot bar or punish the employee for simply working a second job unless it violates a non-compete or causes issues relating to performance at the original job.
    iOSDevSWEwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,799member
    Oh yeah this’ll work so well. Because programming self driving cars and a social media site are almost the same thing. /s
    M68000williamlondonlolliverStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 24
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,590member
    ranson said:
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    Not controversial at all. They will likely be paid as independent contractors by Twitter and receive a 1099 next year for tax purposes. One's original employer (Tesla in this case) cannot bar or punish the employee for simply working a second job unless it violates a non-compete or causes issues relating to performance at the original job.
    I thought he was referring to Tesla's obligations to the SEC as a publicly traded company, not the employee's obligations to Tesla or the tax department.
    M68000muthuk_vanalingamstompythtStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    M68000M68000 Posts: 761member
    I think this is outrageous and should be stopped legally and enforced.  Further,  would be great to see the staff that is left at twitter walk out and never come back.  That could be a tough thing for them to do but it would really send a message and generate a lot of news for sure.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 24
    mfrydmfryd Posts: 216member
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    There are many ways this could be structured.  

    For instance, Twiter could hire Tesla to do the software development.  Twitter would pay Tesla, and Tesla employees would handle the work.   

    I don't see anything "weird" with Tesla expanding the experience level of their in-house software developers by having them work on a different type of project for a few weeks.  Such a move might very well benefit Tesla in the long run, as their developers will gain experience in new areas, that might be applicable to Tesla's car business.  Furthermore, allowing their developers a break might allow them to come back in a few weeks with fresh perspectives on their Tesla projects.

    On the other hand, one could make a case that it is not in the stockholder's best interests for Tesla to take on this sort of software engineering project.  That's a topic on which reasonable people can disagree.

    williamlondonwatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 7 of 24
    kestralkestral Posts: 309member
    DAalseth said:
    Oh yeah this’ll work so well. Because programming self driving cars and a social media site are almost the same thing. /s
    Tell me you don't know how to code without telling me.
    chadbagmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonbeowulfschmidtdavbyronl
  • Reply 8 of 24
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,799member
    kestral said:
    DAalseth said:
    Oh yeah this’ll work so well. Because programming self driving cars and a social media site are almost the same thing. /s
    Tell me you don't know how to code without telling me.
    I worked for a robotics company for ten years. I worked hand in glove with the software department, both helping to design the systems they were coding for and testing and debugging their test systems and beta software. Now our systems weren’t a thousandth as complicated as the one in a Tesla car or that runs Twitter but the company assumed that any new coder that came in would spend three to six months getting up to speed on our systems. The people we brought in were trained on the software/machine interface and human/software interfaces we were doing. The idea that any of our coders could have been dropped into an internet based social media system and hit the ground running is laughable. THEY would tell you it was. 

    So I think you just told all of us how much YOU know about coding.
    edited November 2022 charlesatlasM68000stompythtwilliamlondonlolliverdavbluefire1StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,337member
    ranson said:
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    Not controversial at all. They will likely be paid as independent contractors by Twitter and receive a 1099 next year for tax purposes. One's original employer (Tesla in this case) cannot bar or punish the employee for simply working a second job unless it violates a non-compete or causes issues relating to performance at the original job.
    I highlighted the reason it's controversial. 

    Musk has a huge conflict of interest here. He now has a massive financial interest in Twitter and is abusing his position as CEO of Tesla to divert Tesla resources to help Twitter. That benefits him but almost certainly hurts Tesla shareholders. The only uncertainty is how much it hurts Tesla shareholders. 
    stompywilliamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,337member
    DAalseth said:
    Oh yeah this’ll work so well. Because programming self driving cars and a social media site are almost the same thing. /s
    I wonder what the Twitter analog of the 'full self-driving' disaster will be. Maybe an auto-correct feature that spews fascist propaganda? 
    headfull0winewilliamlondonroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    kestral said:
    DAalseth said:
    Oh yeah this’ll work so well. Because programming self driving cars and a social media site are almost the same thing. /s
    Tell me you don't know how to code without telling me.
    Exactly.  

    In my career I’ve worked on mini computers doing inventory and other similar software, on Macs doing word processing, and on Macs doing shipping apps as well as a limited amount of leisure games (developing not playing).  I’ve also created classified app systems for the web and done a lot of other web type programming.  And for the last 10 years have been mostly doing mobile app development including payments, messaging, and many other genres, both on contract and as a FT employee. 

    The basics of software engineering are not domain specific.  
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonjimdreamworx
  • Reply 12 of 24
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    blastdoor said:
    DAalseth said:
    Oh yeah this’ll work so well. Because programming self driving cars and a social media site are almost the same thing. /s
    I wonder what the Twitter analog of the 'full self-driving' disaster will be. Maybe an auto-correct feature that spews fascist propaganda? 
    It already did that under the prior regime.  That was part of the problem. 
    williamlondonB-Mc-Cbluefire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 24
    ranson said:
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    Not controversial at all. They will likely be paid as independent contractors by Twitter and receive a 1099 next year for tax purposes. One's original employer (Tesla in this case) cannot bar or punish the employee for simply working a second job unless it violates a non-compete or causes issues relating to performance at the original job.
    mfryd said:
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    There are many ways this could be structured.  

    For instance, Twiter could hire Tesla to do the software development.  Twitter would pay Tesla, and Tesla employees would handle the work.   

    I don't see anything "weird" with Tesla expanding the experience level of their in-house software developers by having them work on a different type of project for a few weeks.  Such a move might very well benefit Tesla in the long run, as their developers will gain experience in new areas, that might be applicable to Tesla's car business.  Furthermore, allowing their developers a break might allow them to come back in a few weeks with fresh perspectives on their Tesla projects.

    On the other hand, one could make a case that it is not in the stockholder's best interests for Tesla to take on this sort of software engineering project.  That's a topic on which reasonable people can disagree.

    The controversial part would be that Tesla is not in the business of contracting their employees to companies that don’t benefit it. Those engineers would be more useful working for the company on say Autopilot, the infotainment system, internal apps, etc.
    Tesla investors may not like this. 
    stompywilliamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,031member
    M68000 said:
    I think this is outrageous and should be stopped legally and enforced.  Further,  would be great to see the staff that is left at twitter walk out and never come back.  That could be a tough thing for them to do but it would really send a message and generate a lot of news for sure.
    Except some people need to work to pay their rent/mortgage, uphold their families, etc.
    williamlondonjdwwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 24
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,410member
    I'm sure this is a huge morale booster for the current Twitter engineers - not.

    This whole Twitter thing is like watching dash cam crash videos on YouTube. Um not that I do, but I know a guy who knows a guy who does - cough cough. You know it's mindlessly stupid, and wrong on so many levels that align closely with Beavis & Butthead mentality, unless of course you are actually trying to expand your Russian swear word vocabulary. It's hard to stop watching the carnage play out but it kind of makes you feel better about your own driving abilities. It sure beats the hell out of political campaign commercials.

    I feel sorry for all of the normal people around Twitter who are just trying to make a living and become proficient at doing something they enjoy doing. These are jobs and a way to make ends meet and provide for their families. Twitter is a plaything for Musk. He doesn't need more money and doesn't need to accumulate more wealth. He has started some great things, but there's a heck of a lot more that can be done in those areas to improve and expand their impact on the world. He certainly doesn't need to prove anything to anyone at this point if he's still craving adoration from his fans. He has legions of fans and people kissing his ass just like they do with all celebrities.

    So it still comes down to answering the question" What was the business case for Musk buying Twitter?" These latest moves certainly tells us that it wasn't to acquire the talent at Twitter. The bottom line numbers for Twitter tell us it wasn't for the financial promise it has demonstrated. There must have been something there that made Musk obsess with the notion of making Twitter his own toy to play with or destroy as he wished. Where does "Chief Twit" fall in the line of succession for assuming control of the free world? 

    Anyway, gotta go brush up on my Russian swear words some more. These may come in handy as the Chief Twit joins forces with the many other Chief Nitwits who are trying to take over the world as a hobby because their day job and accumulated wealth that can last 100,000 lifetime earnings of their most skilled employees isn't fulfilling enough. They're ... so ... bored. Boo hoo.
    muthuk_vanalingamstompywilliamlondonroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    Meanwhile Tesla itself is looking more and more like an also-ran in the electric car category. Not to mention that Musk has failed to deliver on all kinds of initiatives at that company despite all the praise he gets for supposedly making everything so "efficient".

    https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-05-13/elon-musk-twitter-deal-on-hold-other-unfulfilled-announcements

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/04/15/elon-musk-promises/
    williamlondonroundaboutnowM68000watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 24
    blastdoor said:
    ranson said:
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    Not controversial at all. They will likely be paid as independent contractors by Twitter and receive a 1099 next year for tax purposes. One's original employer (Tesla in this case) cannot bar or punish the employee for simply working a second job unless it violates a non-compete or causes issues relating to performance at the original job.
    I highlighted the reason it's controversial. 

    Musk has a huge conflict of interest here. He now has a massive financial interest in Twitter and is abusing his position as CEO of Tesla to divert Tesla resources to help Twitter. That benefits him but almost certainly hurts Tesla shareholders. The only uncertainty is how much it hurts Tesla shareholders. 

    That's only an issue if he instructs them, as Tesla management, to work on Twitter stuff.  If, however, he hires them, as Twitter management, to work on Twitter stuff, the only controversy is if they do, in fact, harm Tesla in so doing.  I've been programming professionally for almost 40 years, and lots and lots of programmers moonlight without harm to their "main" employer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    M68000M68000 Posts: 761member
    blastdoor said:
    ranson said:
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    Not controversial at all. They will likely be paid as independent contractors by Twitter and receive a 1099 next year for tax purposes. One's original employer (Tesla in this case) cannot bar or punish the employee for simply working a second job unless it violates a non-compete or causes issues relating to performance at the original job.
    I highlighted the reason it's controversial. 

    Musk has a huge conflict of interest here. He now has a massive financial interest in Twitter and is abusing his position as CEO of Tesla to divert Tesla resources to help Twitter. That benefits him but almost certainly hurts Tesla shareholders. The only uncertainty is how much it hurts Tesla shareholders. 

    That's only an issue if he instructs them, as Tesla management, to work on Twitter stuff.  If, however, he hires them, as Twitter management, to work on Twitter stuff, the only controversy is if they do, in fact, harm Tesla in so doing.  I've been programming professionally for almost 40 years, and lots and lots of programmers moonlight without harm to their "main" employer.
    Yeah but,  this is likely bad for morale and could create employees churn and turnover in the coming weeks\months.  There is no telling how many at Tesla and now twitter are looking to jump ship as fast as they can.  Let’s not
    mention how bad this can be for productivity and health having this “moonlight” work as you call it.  
    blastdoorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 24
    M68000 said:
    blastdoor said:
    ranson said:
    That’s could become a controversial move since Tesla is a public traded company and Twitter is his private company. So borrowing employees from a public company can get weird. 
    Not controversial at all. They will likely be paid as independent contractors by Twitter and receive a 1099 next year for tax purposes. One's original employer (Tesla in this case) cannot bar or punish the employee for simply working a second job unless it violates a non-compete or causes issues relating to performance at the original job.
    I highlighted the reason it's controversial. 

    Musk has a huge conflict of interest here. He now has a massive financial interest in Twitter and is abusing his position as CEO of Tesla to divert Tesla resources to help Twitter. That benefits him but almost certainly hurts Tesla shareholders. The only uncertainty is how much it hurts Tesla shareholders. 

    That's only an issue if he instructs them, as Tesla management, to work on Twitter stuff.  If, however, he hires them, as Twitter management, to work on Twitter stuff, the only controversy is if they do, in fact, harm Tesla in so doing.  I've been programming professionally for almost 40 years, and lots and lots of programmers moonlight without harm to their "main" employer.
    Yeah but,  this is likely bad for morale and could create employees churn and turnover in the coming weeks\months.  There is no telling how many at Tesla and now twitter are looking to jump ship as fast as they can.  Let’s not
    mention how bad this can be for productivity and health having this “moonlight” work as you call it.  
    Hope you are right about the existing Twitter employees jumping ship. The platform needs less radicalized left-wing censors and more adults in the room.
    jimdreamworxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 24
    M68000 said:
    I think this is outrageous and should be stopped legally and enforced.  Further,  would be great to see the staff that is left at twitter walk out and never come back. 
    Please tell us all, how this could be stopped by legal means, and enforced.  It's unlikely the engineers are contractually obligated to not work other jobs.  So how would you "stop this legally and enforce" ?  We'll wait.
    watto_cobra
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