“Put on your running shoes”

  • Steve Westly told Bloomberg that Twitter executives need to learn to work at the pace of Elon Musk.
  • The former Tesla board member said Musk could “shake things up” at the social media company.
  • Twitter announced on Tuesday that Musk has joined its board of directors.

Former Tesla board member Steve Westly warned Twitter that it must learn to work at Elon Musk’s pace after the social media company announced on Tuesday that the Tesla CEO had joined its board.

“My advice to Twitter execs is get on your running shoes now because Elon will be urging you to pick up the pace,” Westly told Bloomberg on Tuesday. “Here we are on day one and he’s already saying, ‘Hey, maybe it’s time to put that editing feature in there.’ I think he will shake things up,” added the Tesla investor.

Prior to announcing that Musk has joined Twitter’s board of directors, the billionaire tweeted a poll: “Do you want an edit button?” A day later, Twitter announced that it was working on an edit button for the app, though the company denied that the development is related to Musk’s poll.

The billionaire called he “looks forward to working with Parag & Twitter Board to make significant improvements to Twitter in the coming months!” Wall Street analysts have speculated that Musk’s ideas for Twitter could lead to a clash with the company’s CEO, Parag Agrawal.

“It’s not going to be quiet,” Westly said of Musk’s potential interactions with Agrawal. The longtime Tesla bull, managing partner and founder of venture fund The Westly Group, also noted that Musk can be “a bit temperamental and short-tempered,” but said his involvement could be a “big win for Twitter.”

With over 80 million followers, Musk is one of Twitter’s most powerful users, but he has openly criticized the app in the past. On March 25th He released a poll asking if the platform adhered to the principles of “freedom of speech.” In December, shortly after Agrawal replaced Jack Dorsey as CEO, Musk appeared to criticize the new CEO. He tweeted a Photoshop image by Joseph Stalin and former Soviet official Nikolai Yezhov, with Agrawal’s head on Stalin and Dorsey’s on Yezhov.

The Tesla CEO is also known for his intensity. At Tesla and SpaceX he has set himself lofty goals and is even known to work up to 120 hours a week and sleep on the factory floor. Former executives have said it can be difficult working for the billionaire, who is prone to temper tantrums and even tantrums from employees – allegations he has adamantly denied by calling them “wrong” on Twitter and said he gives “clear and candid” feedback to employees.

Ultimately, Westly said Musk can help take Twitter into the future and set an example for other Fortune 500 companies on how to connect directly with consumers.

Twitter stock is up sharply this week after Musk announced on Monday that he had taken a 9.2% stake in the social media company and on Tuesday that he had joined the board . Shares closed at $50.98 on Tuesday, up almost 30% from Friday. They continue to trade around $50 per share.

Watch the full interview on Bloomberg’s website.

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