SpaceX, Tesla, and Boring Company execs helping Musk at Twitter

Elon Musk led a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter and appointed himself CEO there at the end of October. Since then, he has recruited senior executives and engineers from his other businesses, including SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company, to help the social media company, according to internal records obtained by CNBC and recent conversations with Twitter employees.

Musk has also allowed partners from investment firms involved in the Twitter acquisition to work in the social media company.

It’s unclear how many hours each person has worked at Twitter to date or how much of their work can be done remotely compared to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters or other offices.

Shareholders remain concerned about how Musk’s financial commitments, split schedule and controversial decisions at Twitter could affect the automaker. Tesla shares have fallen about 25% since he took over Twitter on October 27.

Internal records obtained by CNBC indicate that more than 50 Tesla employees, mostly Autopilot software engineers, were allowed to work for Musk at Twitter shortly after he took over and are still allowed to work there until. early December. Included among the names are people Previously reported by CNBCas:

  • Software Engineering Director Silvio Brugada
  • Director of Infrastructure Engineering and Information Security Rajasekar Jegannathan
  • DevOps Senior Manager Michael Outland
  • Battery engineering director Andrew Ross
  • Director of Information Nagesh Saldi
  • Project Manager Autopilot RJ Sekator

Attorneys asked Elon Musk in a Delaware court in November about his use of Tesla talent at Twitter. Lawsuits and Trials was to determine if Tesla’s board was following the law by granting Musk a massive CEO pay package in 2018.

The attorneys asked, “Has anyone suggested to you that perhaps as a public company it might not be a good idea to use public company resources for your private company?”

In his testimony, Musk described Tesla employees’ work at Twitter as “just a voluntary one.” He also said: “This is an after-hours meeting, as long as you’re interested in the review — help me with Twitter’s technical review, that’s great. It’s very short-term. I think it’s long. for a few days and it was over.”

Musk also said: “I don’t really consider this a use of Tesla’s assets, as I’m only asking on a voluntary basis and I’m not specifying any number of people. I don’t know what that number is. much, but I don’t know.” I don’t think it’s 50. But it’s a small number. There are 120,000 people at the company, obviously, so this is the bare minimum.”

One Tesla employee told CNBC that most people at the electric car company would be honored if they were asked to work overtime at Musk’s other companies. However, they said most would also find it impossible to refuse a direct request from Musk without facing poor performance reviews or other consequences afterward. The person declined to be named because they were not authorized by the company to speak to the press.

In addition to Tesla employees, Musk has also recruited executives and employees from SpaceX, the reusable rocket and satellite internet services company he founded in 2002, to help him at Twitter. SpaceX is a major US defense contractor whose revenue comes from contracts with NASA and the US Air Force, among others.

More than a dozen SpaceX employees were allowed to work at Twitter in early December, including:

  • Vice President of Human Resources Brian Bjelde
  • Chief Financial Officer and Head of Strategic Acquisitions Bret Johnsen
  • Chief Information Officer Joshua Ursenbach

At least three of Musk’s top executives from his tunneling company, The Boring Company, have also been authorized to work for him at Twitter since early December. They are:

  • President Steve Davis
  • Electrical and Software Engineering Director Riccardo Biasini
  • CEO Jehn Balajadia

In addition to employees from his other companies, Musk has enlisted longtime friends and investors with stakes in “Twitter 2.0” under his leadership. Some people who have been allowed to work at the company since the beginning of December include:

  • Angel investor Jason Calacanis
  • DFJ Founder and Development Partner Randy Glein
  • Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Sriram Krishnan (former Twitter employee)
  • Sutter Hill Ventures CEO Samuel Pullara
  • Craft Ventures Partner and Co-Founder David Sacks
  • Five people from Valor Equity Partners, including the company’s founder, Antonio Gracias, and Elon Musk’s former chief of staff at Tesla and SpaceX, Sam Teller, are now venture partners at Valor.

A current Twitter employee told CNBC that Musk has “flattened” the organizational structure at the company since early November so that many managers have more than 20 direct reports each. Most were almost 10 years old before the Tesla CEO took over, which gives them time to mentor.

It’s now also difficult for employees to identify who’s working on which projects in Twitter because Musk’s team has removed a tool called Birdhouse that was previously used as an internal directory and organizational guide.

Spokespersons from Twitter and other Musk companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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