Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X (formerly Twitter), has been revealed to have ignored counsel from trusted individuals, including David Zaslav and his own brother, about his behavior driving advertisers away, as detailed in an upcoming biography by Walter Isaacson.
Counsel from David Zaslav: Focus on Content Improvement
During Musk’s tumultuous takeover of Twitter, where he frequently posted provocative tweets, David Zaslav warned against these “self-destructive” behaviors, urging Musk to prioritize video content enhancement and better ads.
Warnings from Tesla Inc. Board: Impact on the Brand
The board of Tesla Inc., alongside Chairman Robyn Denholm and Kimbal Musk, expressed concerns that the controversies surrounding X (formerly Twitter) were adversely affecting Tesla’s brand image. Elon Musk Elon Musk Elon Musk
Ignoring Key Advisers: The Case of Bob Swan, Alex Spiro, and Jared Birchall
Musk brushed aside advice from former Intel Corp. CEO Bob Swan regarding the financing of the Twitter deal. He also consistently dismissed the viewpoints of lawyer Alex Spiro and wealth manager Jared Birchall, according to Isaacson’s biography.
Criticism Surrounding Musk’s $44 Billion Twitter Takeover
Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter has attracted criticism from various quarters, ranging from users who claim a deterioration in the platform’s quality to advertisers and interest groups concerned about the proliferation of hate speech.
Twitter’s Transformations Under Musk’s Leadership
Musk oversaw significant changes at Twitter, including the layoff of trust and safety employees, the reinstatement of previously banned accounts, and the removal of verification labels from high-profile accounts that did not pay for them. These moves, combined with a decline in advertisers, led to a 50% drop in Twitter’s advertising revenue, as per Musk’s announcement on X in July.
Larry Ellison’s Advice on Avoiding Conflict with Apple
During a critical period, Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp. co-founder, advised Musk against engaging in a dispute with Apple Inc. Musk had criticized Apple for pausing advertising on his platform in November. Ellison emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive relationship with Apple due to its significant role in marketing and the necessity for X to remain on the iPhone’s App Store. Musk eventually reached out to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, to mend fences.
Influential Advisers: David Sacks and Marc Andreessen
Musk’s circle of influential advisers included notable figures like venture capitalists David Sacks and Marc Andreessen.
Musk’s Decision-Making Style: Impulsive and Unyielding
Isaacson’s biography portrays Musk as an impulsive decision-maker who alternates between heeding advisers’ suggestions and disregarding them. At times, Musk appeared to derive satisfaction from opposing their guidance. A consistent theme emerged that, once Musk set his mind on a course of action, even those closest to him couldn’t persuade him otherwise. Elon Musk Elon Musk Elon Musk Elon Musk