Twitter staff exodus accelerates amid Musk battle, whistleblower complaint


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Twitter Inc is facing more employee departures, company executives told staff on Wednesday, as leaders sought to address multiple challenges, including whistleblower allegations and a legal battle with billionaire Elon Musk.

Employee attrition is currently 18.3%, Twitter executives told staff during a company-wide meeting, audio of which was heard by Reuters. Before Musk made his $44-billion offer to buy the company, attrition hovered between 14% to 16%, which was consistent with competitors, executives had previously said.

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The months-long chaos related to the Musk takeover has caused some staff to flee, current employees had told Reuters.

The staff meeting was held a day after Twitter’s former security chief Peiter “Mudge” Zatko said in a whistleblower complaint that the social media company misled federal regulators about its defenses against hackers and spam accounts.

The San Francisco-based company is also heading to an October trial after suing Musk for attempting to walk away from the buyout agreement.

Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal moved to reassure employees on Wednesday that Zatko’s accusations were “foundationally, technically and historically inaccurate.”

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Before the news broke, Twitter reached out to “various agencies” globally, said General Counsel Sean Edgett.

“We have never made a material misrepresentation to a regulator, to our board, to all of you,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, lawyers for Twitter and Musk attended a hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, to decide if Twitter had to provide documents and data sought by Musk to challenge the company’s estimates of spam accounts on its platform. Musk’s attorneys briefly mentioned the allegations by Zatko.

“Mr. Zatko said management had no appetite to measure bots,” Alex Spiro, Musk’s lawyer, told the judge.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas, Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru and Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Matthew Lewis and Nick Zieminski)


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