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‘It’s possible Twitter could be worse’: Bill Gates says the social media platform could suffer under Elon Musk leadership

May 5, 2022, 7:38 PM UTC

Elon Musk may not be Twitter’s saving grace, according to Bill Gates.

The ex-Microsoft CEO said in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday that Twitter as platform “could be worse,” under Musk, although he was careful to say the opposite could be true as well. 

“You know, Elon, I guess it’s possible Twitter could be worse. But it also could be better… So I have a wait and see attitude,” Gates told the BBC. 

Gates added that he admires Musk for his work Tesla and SpaceX.

“So far, the things Elon’s tackled he’s done a spectacularly good job, his work at Tesla helps with climate change, with SpaceX he’s gotten way out in front on that,” he said. 

Gates’ ambivalence about a Musk-led Twitter comes a week after Tesla CEO’s struck a deal to takeover the company. CNBC reported Thursday that Musk is expected to serve as temporary Twitter CEO once his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform is complete.

After some resistance to Musk’s takeover, Twitter and Musk reached a deal for the billionaire to buy the platform in late April. On Thursday, Musk said he secured about $7.14 billion in equity commitments for the takeover from 19 co-investors, according to the Wall Street Journal. With the new funding, Musk reduced the $12.5 billion loan he had originally taken out to finance the deal to $6.25 billion, the Journal reports. 

Musk’s hostile takeover of Twitter started in early April when he bought a 9.2% stake in the company and was quickly offered a seat on Twitter’s board of directors. Accepting the board seat would have prevented Musk from owning more than 14.9% of the company while on the board. After rejecting the board seat, Musk mounted a bid to buy all Twitter shares at $54.20 a share and take the company private. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk said he plans to take the company public again after a few years.

Gates and Musk have had tense relations in the past and are known to make public jabs at each other

Last week, in a text exchange that Musk confirmed in a tweet as authentic, the richest man in the world asked Gates if he was shorting Tesla stock. Gates reportedly confirmed that he was betting on Tesla’s stock price falling and asked to talk with Musk about philanthropy, a request Musk shot down.

“Sorry, I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk reportedly said in the text exchange.

Gates said in an interview published Wednesday by the BBC that shorting Tesla “has nothing to do with climate change.” He did not specifically tell the BBC whether he was shorting Tesla stock or not.
On April 22, Musk tweeted a picture of Gates side-by-side with an emoji of a pregnant man with the caption “in case u need to lose a boner fast.” A few days later, Musk said in a tweet that he was moving on “from making fun of Gates for shorting Tesla while claiming to support climate change action.”

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