Why Elon Musk’s 'chaotic' management of Twitter has a 'distinct echo' of Trump’s presidency: journalist

Why Elon Musk’s 'chaotic' management of Twitter has a 'distinct echo' of Trump’s presidency: journalist
Elon Musk in 2020 (Wikimedia Commons)

Since acquiring Twitter in late October, billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk has fired the company’s entire board of directors as well as some of its top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and Policy Chief Vijaya Gadde. In fact, Agrawal and Segal were escorted out of Twitter’s Bay Area headquarters when Musk’s acquisition of Twitter was finalized.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump are hoping that Musk will restore his Twitter account @realdonaldtrump, which was shut down after the January 6, 2021 insurrection. But Trump’s top social media priority appears to be his own company Truth Social.

In an article published by Axios on November 3, journalist Scott Rosenberg compares Musk’s “chaotic” management style at Twitter to Trump’s “chaotic” presidency and describes some of the similarities.

READ MORE:Twitter employees respond to new owner Elon Musk’s annihilation of top execs — on Twitter

“Elon Musk's chaotic new Twitter arrives with a distinct echo of Donald Trump's old White House,” Rosenberg explains. “The big picture: The world already knew that Musk's shoot-from-the-hip Twitter posting style recalled the former president's. Now, it appears that Musk's management approach owes a debt to the former president as well.”

The reporter continues, “Musk's first days as Twitter CEO have such a familiar feel because the world's richest man is leading his new company from the same playbook Trump used as he tried to change the U.S. government's direction after his 2017 inauguration: rely on an inner circle chosen for loyalty more than expertise, seize and hold the public's attention by rolling out new proposals and ideas on Twitter first before they've been widely vetted internally, keep the existing organization in a state of uncertainty and fear…. For Trump-detesters, watching Musk's leadership approach in action can feel like a reopened wound or a recurring nightmare.”

Rosenberg notes, however, that “Trump achieved only a fraction of the goals he set because it's nearly impossible to turn around a gigantic organization by posting tweets.”

“Twitter, the company, is much smaller than the federal bureaucracy,” Rosenberg observes. “But Musk is likely to get no further than Trump did if his leadership-by-tweet isn't accompanied by tenacious and coherent internal planning. That could be difficult for someone who changes his mind in public a lot and is also the CEO of four other companies.”

READ MORE: Elon Musk’s epic bumbling is a daily reminder that America is not a meritocracy

Trump did plenty of firing during his four years in the White House, from former National Security Adviser John Bolton to former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And at Twitter, more firings are expected in the months ahead.

“Trump made a practice of ignoring his own advisers and cutting out experts,” Rosenberg notes. “It remains to be seen who will have Musk's ear and how he will make decisions at Twitter. Trump also used the White House as an asset to leverage advantages for his other assets — most famously, hotels and golf courses. Musk is also known for blurring the boundaries between the companies he owns.”

READ MORE: 'Why feed the monster?' Conservative Elon Musk critic urges users to 'abandon' Twitter

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