"She has to get him out."
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had to dig deep into his own pockets to fund his disastrous acquisition of Twitter last year, funding the $44 billion purchase with billions of dollars coming out of his Tesla shares and his own funds. Even then, he had to take on a considerable debt from banks, worth roughly $13 billion.
Since then, Musk's chaotic and questionable leadership has sent advertisers running for the hills, causing revenues to plummet. Mass layoffs have sent shockwaves through the company's operations, complicating matters further.
Almost a year later, X-formerly-Twitter's newly anointed CEO Linda Yaccarino is now being tasked with picking up the pieces. As the Financial Times reports, Yaccarino, who joined the flailing platform in June, is meeting with bankers to reassure them the "flaming dumpster" that is X won't continue bleeding them dry.
"She has to get him out," a banker at one of X's lenders told the newspaper, referring to Musk. "They need ad dollars to come back."
That'll likely prove to be a considerable task. Since his disastrous acquisition, Musk has dug in his heels, allowing disinformation, propaganda, extremism, and conspiracy theories to flourish on the platform, enraging image-conscious advertisers.
Yaccarino is signaling optimism about the social media platform's future, telling an audience at this week's Code Conference that the company is nearing breaking even and that'll turn a profit in "early 2024."
As for the growing pile of debt, according to Financial Times' sources, X is earning enough cash to at least cover the gargantuan interest payments, totaling roughly $1.5 billion a year, accrued by Musk's debt.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall. There's a lot we don't know about what's really going on behind the scenes at X and the company's short-term goals are as nebulous as ever.
Last month, Musk admitted that "we may fail, as so many have predicted," a rare moment of lucidity for an entrepreneur who has a reputation for making kneejerk and ill-advised decisions.
It remains to be seen if Yaccarino will be able to rack up enough goodwill among lenders to right the ship and save X from its eventual demise. She'll certainly have a lot of questions to answer on behalf of her handler going forward.
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