Elon Musk said Sunday that free staff lunches at Twitter HQ were costing more than $400 per meal.
- He said badge-in records at the San Francisco office showed average occupancy below 10%.
- A former Twitter employee said spending on breakfast and lunch was $20-25 per person.
Elon Musk's tenure as Twitter's new boss has gotten off to a controversial start. Here's how the billionaire went from being bullied as a child to being one of the most successful and controversial men in tech.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is the new owner of Twitter. So far, his decisions have drawn both criticism and support on Twitter.
He was born in South Africa, has been married three times, and has nine known children.
Musk is a controversial leader who has provoked lawsuits and SEC investigations.
Elon Musk is never short on controversy, and the start of his tenure as Twitter's new leader is no exception.
Since his $44 billion deal to buy the social network was called off in October, Musk introduced a controversial update to Twitter's verification process, laid off 50% of the company's staff, and reportedly laid off some Reversed those layoffs for the workers.
The site joins a growing list of companies linked to the world's richest man, who heads several large conglomerates. Over the past five decades, Musk has become CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, founder of The Boring Company, and cofounder of OpenAI and Neuralink, all the while focused on his long-term goal: escaping Earth and colonizing Mars.
It hasn't always been an easy road for Musk — he almost broke down more than once and provoked lawsuits and government investigations.
Here's how he became one of the most divisive figures in the business world.
This is an update to an article originally published in August 2016. Katie Canales and Matt Weinberger contributed to an earlier version of this story.
He said that according to badge-in records, average occupancy in the office over the last 12 months was below 10%, peaking at 25%.
Musk was tweeting Sunday after The New York Times reported that Twitter employees would have to start paying for office lunches themselves.
He said criticism of the move was "especially bizarre given that almost no one came into the office," adding: "There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast. They don't even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building."
Musk said Twitter spends $13 million annually on food service at its San Francisco headquarters.
Musk was challenged over a $400 meal cost estimate by Tracy Hawkins, a former Twitter employee. Hawkins' LinkedIn profile says she was the VP for Real Estate and Work Transformation at Twitter, with a focus on hybrid working.
Hawkins said of Musk's guess: "It's a lie. I ran this program until a week ago when I resigned because I didn't want to work for @elonmusk.
"We spent $20-$25 per person per day for breakfast and lunch. This enabled employees to work through lunch and mtgs. Attendance in offices was anything from 20-50%."
Musk said Hawking's figures were "false".
The disagreement may be because Hawkins referred to "presence" in multiple offices, while Musk spoke specifically about occupancy rates at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters.
Twitter did not immediately respond to an insider's request for comment.
According to Bloomberg, in his first address to Twitter employees since taking control of the company, Musk asked employees to expect an 80-hour work week and fewer perks like free office lunches.
In an interview ahead of the G20 summit in Indonesia, Musk said he was working "from morning till night, seven days a week", adding: "The amount I torture myself with is next level "
Twitter stopped working remotely soon after Musk took over the reins of the company. Last week, Musk sent an email to employees at 2.39 p.m. asking them to return to the office or "accept the resignation."
50% of Twitter's 7,500 employees were laid off after Musk took over.
Why is Elon Musk firing Twitter workers?
Elon Musk fired Twitter employees who replied to him publicly on the app about Twitter being slow for the Android mobile OS. Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been firing employees from his company who publicly criticise him on social media or are not in support of his views and ideas for the company
Is Twitter selling to Elon?
The deal closed on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters. Musk bought the social media company for about $44 billion, matching the original price he offered earlier this spring.
How many employees did Elon Musk fire from Twitter?
- 7,500 workers
Why is Twitter firing Indian employees?
Twitter has fired the majority of its over 200 employees in India as part of mass layoffs across the globe ordered by its new owner Elon Musk who is looking to make his $44-billion acquisition work. Sources said the layoffs are across engineering, sales and marketing, and communications teams.