Top of mind: Happy Sunday!
I’m forced to write about a man I’m tired of documenting this week. I’m a fan, but boy, am I tired of writing about Elon Musk – alas, history compels me to. So this week, we’d cover how Twitter employees feel about Musk’s takeover and Ethiopia’s big news.
3 big things:
- Ethiopia’s big bets
- Twitter employees’ existential crisis
- Meta wins this quarter
Ethiopia gets backed by Africa’s largest fintech platform
The short: In the greatest plot twist of 2022, Elon Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion at $54.20 per share.
Welp: While Elon’s fanboys and girls fawned over his latest acquisition, there was the silent majority expressing intense trepidation in Slack groups. Asides from Twitter’s CEO’s obligatory but vague statement about Elon’s acquisition, former CEO Jack Dorsey declared: “Elon is the singular solution I trust”. Okay.
Twitter’s current employees, on the other hand, wondered what this meant for the company, now in the hands of a complex, volatile owner whose acquisition means taking the company private.
In a company-wide meeting, employees were told that Twitter going private means that employees who receive a large amount of their compensation in stocks would not receive additional equity the moment it’s privatised – leaving employees wondering if Elon’s takeover makes sense for their bank accounts.
Job losses?: Top of mind for most employees was job security. While CEO Parag Agrawal mentioned there wouldn’t be layoffs in the short term, it could be a real problem in 6 months when the sale is complete and Elon begins cleaning house to make way for employees who believe in his vision for the company.
Bullying is not leadership: Who would have thought it would take a former CEO Dick Costolo to defend employees against Elon Musk. Musk tweeted a meme accusing Twitter’s Head of Legal Vijaya Gadde of making policy decisions with a left-wing bias. Elon’s trolls piled on Gadde with racist abuse and death threats. Instead of calling off his trolls, Elon doubled down in his response to Costolo – claiming his intentions were about political neutrality.
Final thoughts: The truth is, no one knows what Musk’s acquisition means for Twitter – sweeping product changes or a return of controversial figures like Trump to the platform? With Twitter’s new owner, all the public can do is speculate and hope for a scenario where Musk takes this takeover more seriously than his response to the racist treatment of Tesla’s black employees.
Meta’s back on top
The short: Meta’s shares soared this week thanks to an increase in daily active users.
Wall street proposes, Meta disposes: Meta’s shares rose 15% this week following a significant loss of value in the first quarter of 2022. In February, Meta recorded an unprecedented loss of users in its 16-year history, painting a gloomy 2022. Wall Street swooped in with its predictions of 1.96 billion daily active users, but Meta surprised analysts with 2.94 billion daily active users this week.
By the numbers: Meta’s ad revenue rose 7% in the first quarter to $27.9 billion in 2022, falling short of analysts’ prediction of $28.20 billion. Not too shabby. However, Meta attributed this loss to Apple’s latest privacy changes and competition from apps like Tiktok. No surprises there, TikTok is decimating social apps across the globe.
That’s it for the week. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this week’s issue. Please respond to this email or find me on Twitter @fatuogwuche 🙂
Ps – do us a solid by sharing the newsletter with your network of tech enthusiasts. Invite them to join the party 🙂
See you next Sunday!