Elon Musk said on Wednesday that he expected to reduce his time at Twitter and eventually find a new leader to run the social media company, adding that he hoped to complete an organisational restructuring this week.
The South African-born business magnate — who completed his acquisition of Twitter for $44 (€42) billion on 27 October — made the remarks while testifying in a Delaware court as part of a shareholder lawsuit against his company, Tesla Inc.
Tesla investors have been increasingly concerned about the time that Musk is devoting to turning around Twitter.
Shares of Tesla fell 3% on Wednesday.
“There’s an initial burst of activity needed post-acquisition to reorganise the company,” Musk said in his testimony. “But then I expect to reduce my time at Twitter.”
Musk also admitted that some Tesla engineers were assisting in evaluating Twitter’s engineering teams, but he said it was on a “voluntary basis” and “after hours.”
The 51-year-old billionaire’s first two weeks as Twitter’s owner have been marked by a major overhaul and quick-fire decisions, including the dismissal of the company’s former CEO and approximately half of its staff, leading media outlets to describe the new leadership as “chaotic” and “disastrous”.
Most prominent among these changes is a revamped Twitter Blue service, which offered subscribers a variety of additional features, including the app’s coveted verification badge, for $7.99 (€7.69) a month.
Launched in a handful of countries on 10 November, the scheme got off to a particularly rocky start after users created fake accounts impersonating major companies and world leaders. It was eventually suspended within less than two days, although Musk slated its relaunch for the 29th of November.
Such developments have prompted concern from the US Federal Trade Commission, especially after high-ranking members of the privacy and security team resigned. Certain commentators have also questioned whether certain changes at Twitter could fall short of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Despite the barrage of attacks and vehement criticism directed towards Twitter’s leadership, Musk has maintained an optimistic and, at times, defiant attitude, engaging with his followers and frequently lampooning the press while defending the company’s new direction.
Earlier on Wednesday, Musk sent an email to Twitter employees, informing them they needed to decide by the next day whether they wanted to stay on at the company to work “long hours at high intensity” or take a severance package of three months of pay.