Elon Musk says Twitter is no longer hemorrhaging cash, not a bankruptcy threat
Amid the well-documented challenges and criticisms Twitter CEO Elon Musk has faced since purchasing the social media platform last year, observers wondered whether the mercurial billionaire would be able to keep the company out of bankruptcy, but based on messages he posted this weekend, things are moving in his desired direction, as PCMag reports.
Despite skepticism from seemingly all corners following his acquisition of Twitter, Musk has hinted that some degree of financial stability for the firm could be close on the horizon, even though many pressures remain.
Over the weekend, a lengthy Wall Street Journal article chronicled some of the hurdles Musk has had to clear in recent months as well as the toll that wearing so many corporate hats may be taking on the famed entrepreneur.
Indeed, Musk himself was quoted saying back in November, “I go to sleep, I wake up, I work, go to sleep, wake up, work – do that seven days a week.”
“I'll have to do that for a while – no choice – but I think once Twitter is set on the right path I think it is a much easier thing to manage than SpaceX or Tesla,” Musk added, referencing the other corporations he helms.
In addition to the physical and mental drains of the professional endeavors he has chosen to pursue, Musk has faced intense pressure and public scrutiny as to whether he would be able to make a financial go of Twitter after having taken on such a massive amount of debt to secure control of it.
In light of Twitter's slumping advertising revenue and faltering cashflow, Musk had previously cautioned of a potential $3 billion loss in the company's first year under his control, but just last month, as the Guardian notes, he declared that Twitter is “not on the fast lane to bankruptcy any more” and would be able to meet its immediate financial obligations.
In response to the WSJ piece detailing the life and current travails of Musk, the man himself took to Twitter to provide additional insight into the social media company's improving prospects.
“Last 3 months were extremely tough, as had to save Twitter from bankruptcy, while fulfilling essential Tesla & SpaceX duties. Wouldn't wish that pain on anyone,” Musk began.
Then, pointing to an upward trajectory in his latest venture, Musk added, “Twitter still has challenges, but is now trending to breakeven if we keep at it. Public support is much appreciated!”
Uphill battle continues
Musk has had to make a series of difficult – and sometimes controversial – decisions just to get Twitter to the still-precarious point at which it sits today, including dismissing roughly 70% of the company's workforce and shuttering some corporate offices and other facilities, as PCMag noted.
However, Musk's emphasis on free speech and his commitment to rooting out the cultural and technical roots of prior censorship on the platform have combined to drive away a sizable number of advertisers and put a large dent in Twitter's revenue.
Those developments, particularly in the midst of a broader tech industry downturn, have caused many to speculate about just how long Musk can keep Twitter afloat.
In the CEO's estimation, he is having some real success in righting the ship, but noted in another weekend tweet, “To be extra clear, Twitter is definitely not financially healthy yet, but is trending to be so. Lots of work still needed to get there.”
As the WSJ piece explained, Musk is a “self-described nanomanager” known for “routinely working late into the night and sleeping little,” and it seems that his acquisition of Twitter has only exacerbated those tendencies.
He has reportedly been sleeping at Twitter headquarters while juggling the myriad responsibilities that come with also sitting atop the corporate structure of Telsa and SpaceX, a scenario unlikely to help alleviate nagging – and often serious – back pain stemming from an ill-advised tussle with a sumo wrestler at a party years ago.
While testifying in his own defense during a recent class action lawsuit against Tesla, Musk was heard to say, “I had trouble sleeping last night...I'm sorry for squirming around. I have quite severe back pain,” an admission that gave a small glimpse into the stresses and strains he faces on a daily basis as he attempts a major corporate turnaround.
Even so, Musk – in what now appears to be characteristic fashion – remained undeterred before the California jury, delivered his side of the case, and ultimately prevailed in a matter numerous legal experts declared him almost certain to lose. Whether he will have similar success in beating the supposed odds as they relate to Twitter's long-term fortunes, however, is something that remains to be seen.