Twitter Makes Its First Musk-Era Acquisition

(Photo Credit: Souvik Banerjee/Unsplash)
(Photo Credit: Souvik Banerjee/Unsplash)

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

Go on Twitter, you’ve had a rough few months. Treat yourself.

Twitter has announced a deal to buy a tech recruitment startup called Laskie, Axios was first to report. This marks a break in Twitter’s usual programming under Elon Musk’s leadership, which has mostly involved taking a Samurai katana to costs and upsetting various vendors who claim the company is not paying its bills.

Buyer’s Regret(s)

As of February, Twitter had around 2,000 staff remaining out of the 7,500 that worked there before Musk took over. It’s not possible to tell which departments suffered the deepest wounds, but in March a worker who was laid off (and later re-hired following a public exchange of tweets with Musk himself) said he couldn’t get an answer from the company’s HR department as to whether he was still employed after he lost access to his work accounts. That incident suggested Twitter’s HR might be just the teensiest bit underpowered (though less so than its public relations department, which has been reduced to sending poop emojis to inquiring journalists).

As such, Laskie might represent something of an acqui-hire. Musk told the BBC in April that the company’s finances are on a more even keel nowadays, and it looks as though he’s eager to turn his attentions and granular management style back to Tesla:

  • Musk told Tesla staff in an email on Monday that he wants hiring lists sent to him weekly for approval. “No one can join Tesla, even as a contractor, until you receive my email approval,” Musk said in the email which was obtained by Insider.
  • Twitter’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino, a presumably hardcore former advertising exec at NBCUniversal, is due to start work in six weeks. It is as yet unconfirmed whether she will inherit Musk’s title of “Chief Twit”.

Tesla in India: Bloomberg reported on Tuesday Tesla is sending a team of execs to India this week to smooth-talk officials from Narendra Modi’s government, which has previously objected to Tesla selling its made-in-China cars on the sub-continent. Tesla would like to move at least some of its supply chain to India as a way of lessening its dependence on China, according to Bloomberg, but keeping both India and China happy will be tricky; India and China are engaged in a border dispute, Tesla is building a new battery plant in Shanghai, and Tesla is facing white-hot domestic competition in China where the CCP occasionally accuses the company of spying. It’s a geopolitical dance more complex than even the most high-budget Bollywood set piece.