“Houston, we have a problem. » The phrase uttered by astronaut Jack Swigert to alert the NASA control center in Houston (Texas) to the explosion that paralyzed Apollo 13 in 1970 remains as one of the most famous euphemisms. Elon Musk could take it back today. The “problem” does not concern SpaceX, its company specializing in the conquest of space, which has so far been working very well, but the October acquisition of Twitter.
During a forum organized a few days ago on the social network, the famous entrepreneur did not, however, give in the euphemism by comparing the situation of the company to “an airplane swooping down at high speed with its engines blazing and controls unresponsive.” And to add “That’s why the measurements I take can sometimes seem wrong. »
Elon Musk has always had a talent for storytelling in order to sell his successes. But when it comes to Twitter, the out-of-control boss is just rewriting history.
Why agree to spend 44 billion dollars (41 billion euros) to buy back a cabin about to catch fire two months later? Elon Musk poses as a superhero, a last resort to avoid a catastrophe, when he is ultimately only an arsonist firefighter who assumed his abilities out of ideology and arrogance.
Admittedly, Twitter’s business model did not wait for Elon Musk to falter. When the social network was acquired, the company was already losing altitude, but it had not yet taken off. This is now the case. Losses could approach 4 billion dollars this year against 221 million in 2021 with a turnover which should collapse by 40%, according to the forecasts of the new owner.
The pressure was already strong before the takeover. She has become unbearable. To finance the operation, the company contracted a debt of 12.5 billion dollars, which must now be repaid at the rate of 1.5 billion a year, all in a context of rapidly rising interest rates. It is the change of ownership that contributes to the sense of urgency experienced by the company.
Upon his arrival, Elon Musk saw fit to administer a horse remedy without worrying about whether it would cure or finish Twitter. The company’s workforce has been cut in half, leaving key positions vacant and disarming the social network to moderate content.
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