What does Elon Musk want? “Only he knows,” replies Twitter's ex-chairman
Elon Musk bought Twitter for US$44 billion last October.
< source srcset="https://images.radio-canada.ca/q_auto,w_115/v1/ici-info/1x1/olivier-bourque.jpg" media="(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 99999px)"/>
Many have had this question on their lips for weeks about Elon Musk: what exactly does he want to do with Twitter? Quebecer Patrick Pichette, until recently a member of the board of directors of this social network, says he wants to give the runner a chance. He spoke about the last few months leading up to the transaction.
In an interview with Economy Zone, the businessman, who has just lost his position in the C.A., was philosophical in quoting a former Chinese president.
It was Deng Xiaoping who said the famous line: "Too early to tell." Too early to say. Time will do things well and I want to remain optimistic, replied Mr. Pichette when Gérald Fillion asked him if he was worried to see Elon Musk at the head of Twitter.
Patrick Pichette fully assumes the sale to the billionaire. He points out that if the latter were to bring down Twitter with his decisions, new options could arrive quickly. If Elon breaks the ethos of Twitter, the beauty of the Internet, tomorrow morning you have eight other platforms showing up, he says with a broad smile.
Over the past few days, Elon Musk has announced a series of changes at Twitter, including laying off half of the workforce. He even mentioned the group's bankruptcy, which caused a flurry of criticism against him.
“ A signal is very clear: he had to call people back, he made the mistake of firing them, when he needed them for critical operations. It proves he's not in control of what's still really important on Twitter. »
— Patrick Pichette, ex-president of the board of directors of Twitter, in interview with Patrice Roy
Analysis of the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk with Patrick Pichette, former chairman of the board of directors of Twitter.
In an exchange of emails with Radio-Canada, Patrick Pichette was much more acerbic towards the billionaire. To the question: What does Elon Musk want?, the Quebecer had a simple answer.
One, [he seeks] attention, and two, [he wants] to go to the planet Mars. After that, only he knows, and even still, [it's] not certain, writes the Quebecer.
Does he have a plan for Twitter? Will we see real chaos in the next few months? We are going to witness a great experience, replies Mr. Pichette.
But should we worry about the financial health of the group? Here again, the former financial director of Google wants to wait to have a complete portrait before deciding.
Too early and too many upheavals to get a clear idea of the model of & #x27;business and [to find out] if advertisers will come back. So to follow. Only time has the answer to this question, he wrote in an email.
Mr. Pichette, however, continues to wish the survival of the platform, essential, according to him, to freedom of expression.
“Because Twitter is a platform, it's the public place where marginalized groups, people who need protection, can express themselves freely. It is an absolutely extraordinary and important platform. »
— Patrick Pichette, ex-president of the board of directors of Twitter
Patrick Pichette, director until very recently of the board of directors of Twitter, defends the decision of the C.A. to sell the company to Elon Musk.
In a much publicized hesitation waltz, Elon Musk finally bought the blue bird for 44 billion US dollars last October after several months that were akin to a real saga.
During the whole process, Patrick Pichette believes that the board of directors had their hands tied in the file and considers that a character like Mr. Musk could not have bought a Canadian company so easily.
In Canada, the board of directors has a fiduciary duty to the company and must consider the interests of all parties. In the United States, it's not the same thing, he says.
When we started the debate, we were reminded by our lawyers that a company in Delaware has a single stakeholder, the shareholder. […] You have your hands tied, you can't say: "I'm going to reinvent the rules, because I feel like it," he says.
But he notes that the shareholders got their money's worth. Me, I served my shareholders, he says.
Patrick Pichette also returned to a key moment in the history of Twitter, when President Donald Trump was ousted from the platform after the invasion of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The rules of Twitter are relatively simple. Anyone can go to the site and read them. And in the rules of Twitter, there is one that says: you have no right to incite violence, he says.
“As a politician, it's important in this space that if you say things that are outrageous, it's important that people hear it. But if you break one of Twitter's six rules, that's pretty clear. »
— Patrick Pichette, ex-president of the Board of Directors of Twitter
In this sense, Mr. Pichette affirms that the decision was not very difficult, because the American president had violated one of these rules.
Earlier in the day, Patrick Pichette took part in a press conference at Château Montebello, in Outaouais, to announce a series of measures intended to protect Kenauk, a nature reserve considered a jewel almost completely outside. sheltered from human activity.
There are investments you make with your head and there are investments you make with your heart. Kenauk is definitely the second, he says.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Kenauk Institute will notably create a research laboratory, one of the largest of its kind in North America. Mr. Pichette has launched a fundraising campaign to protect the territory 100%.
It's a territory that is so big that there are two packs of wolves. It's so big that there's everything on it, he says.
Mr. Pichette had acquired this reserve for more than $43 million. He claims to have saved the reserve from a real estate project.