Elon Musk is refusing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel bills accumulated by Twitter employees before he took over the company, The New York Times has reported. The company is on a drastic cost-cutting campaign and Musk has reportedly issued orders to slow or even halt payments to vendors and contract services. The move has sparked complaints from Twitter insiders and vendors who are owed millions of dollars in back payments.
Musk brought in allies from Tesla, his family office and The Boring Company with the directive to “cut, cut, cut,” according to the article. As such, Twitter is asking staff to review, renegotiate or even not pay some outside vendors, according to NYT’s sources. Some areas under review include computing costs, travel, software services, real estate and even in-office cafeteria food.
Twitter is reviewing partnerships with sports leagues like the NFL and NBA, along with media companies including Condé Nast and Fox. It’s also trying to renegotiate deals with tech firms like Amazon and Oracle that provide computing services. In addition, corporate credit cards have been shut off, free lunches eliminated and expense report payments delayed. And the company has reportedly not delivered checks previously promised to charitable organizations.
Musk took on $13 billion in loans as part of his acquisition of the social network, with interest payments supposedly amounting to $1 billion each year. He has told employees that the “economic picture ahead is dire” and “bankruptcy is not out of the question.” Twitter has slashed half of its 7,500-strong work force, seen mass resignations and reportedly terminated a majority of its contractors, many of whom worked on policing content.
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