According to Musk, Acquiring Twitter Was ‘Painful’ but Necessary

Billionaire Elon Musk told the BBC that running Twitter has been “quite painful” but that the social media company is now breaking even after he acquired it late last year.

Musk talked about his ownership of the online platform, layoffs, false information, and his work style in an interview that was also broadcast live on Twitter Spaces late Tuesday night.

“It’s not been boring. It’s quite a rollercoaster,” he told a British TV station at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco.

It was a rare chance for a major news organization to talk to Musk, who owns Tesla and SpaceX. Musk made changes to the company after buying Twitter for $44 billion last year. One of these changes was to get rid of the company’s communications department.

When reporters send an email to the company asking for a comment, they now get an automatic reply with a poop emoji.

There were tense moments during the interview, especially when Musk pressed the reporter for evidence of rising hate speech on the platform. Musk sometimes laughed at his own jokes. He said more than once that his dog Floki was the CEO, not him.

He also said that he sometimes sleeps on a couch in the office where Twitter is based in San Francisco.

Advertisers who left the platform after Musk’s rocky takeover have mostly come back, the billionaire said, without giving more details.

Musk said Twitter could become “cash flow positive” this quarter “if current trends continue.” Twitter’s financial data is unverifiable due to the company’s private status.

After buying the platform, Musk fired a lot of people in an effort to cut costs. He said the number of Twitter employees had been cut from about 8,000 to 1,500. He said that this was something that had to be done.

“It’s not fun at all,” said Musk. “The company’s going to go bankrupt if we don’t cut costs immediately. This is not a caring-uncaring situation. It’s like if the whole ship sinks, then nobody’s got a job.”

When asked if he wished he hadn’t bought the company, he said that it “needed to be done.