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Elon Musk had a bad week at Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter


Elon Musk pauses and looks down as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX’s Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

In what’s been a particularly eventful year for Elon Musk, this was a decidedly rough week.

Tesla’s stock, which has lost almost half its value since peaking in November, dropped more than 6% in the last week, as investors continued to sell out of their tech holdings.

There are internal matters at Tesla that aren’t helping. This week, they were tied to safety issues with the company’s advanced driver-assist systems.

Musk’s other big company, SpaceX, fired a group of employees who circulated an internal letter that reportedly denounced the CEO and founder as a “distraction and embarrassment.” Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday handed SpaceX’s Starship rocket program a long to-do list before it can receive a launch license in Boca Chica, Texas.

Then there’s Twitter. Musk agreed to buy the social media company for $44 billion in April, but has since publicly trashed it, raising all sorts of concerns about whether the deal will actually close. On Thursday, Musk spoke to Twitter employees for the first time in a video address that was widely panned, based on messages that showed up on the internal chat board.

Here’s what went down in Musk town this week.

Problematic data on driver-assist crashes

The NTSB released this image of a 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor electric car that was involved in a fatal accident near Miami that killed two people on Sept. 13, 2021.

NTSB

Tesla hikes prices across U.S. car models

Tesla Model 3

Courtesy: Tesla

FAA says SpaceX Starship program needs adjustments

SpaceX employees embarrassed by Musk

Musk’s plan to buy Twitter has worried policymakers around the world.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

Musk’s call with Twitter employees didn’t go well

Elon Musk twitter account is seen through Twitter logo in this illustration taken, April 25, 2022. 

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

With Twitter’s stock price trading around $37, well below the $54.20 Musk agreed to pay for the company, investors and employees are justifiably concerned about what the future holds.

Musk’s all-hands meeting with Twitter staffers on Thursday seemed like an effort by the potential future owner to establish a sense of trust and transparency with the people who would be working for him.

But reactions on Slack following the meeting indicated employees were still left with questions and concerns, according to a person who saw the messages but asked not to be named as they were intended to be private.

While former CEO Jack Dorsey promised employees the option to work remote permanently, Musk has taken a very different approach with his companies, recently demanding that Tesla and SpaceX workers be in the office at least 40 hours a week.

Musk said on the call that he may not be as strict with Twitter employees, because developing software can more easily be handled from afar while car manufacturing requires physical presence.

But his answer didn’t appear to calm concerns. His comments also left some Twitter employees fearing for their jobs, according to the person familiar. In addressing concerns about potential layoffs, Musk said Twitter needs to get into a healthy financial state, but that “anyone who is a significant contributor has nothing to worry about,” according to the person.

In response, Twitter employees shared messages and memes toward the end of the meeting riffing on how to brand themselves as exceptional.

—CNBC’s Michael Wayland contributed to this report.

WATCH: Musk tells Twitter employees he wants at least a billion daily users



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