Twitter CEO Elon Musk slammed the company’s former software engineer as an “ass” during a heated row over Emperor’s push to revamp the beleaguered social media app.
Musk said Twitter would have to do a “complete rewrite of everything” if it wanted to get “really high velocity” during a Twitter Spaces audio chat hosted by George Hotez on Wednesday.
The remark prompted a response from Ian Brown, a Netflix developer who worked at Twitter for eight years before leaving the company in October 2021.
“Wait, seriously, a complete rewrite? That’s your expectation of speed?” Brown said.
Musk replied, “Yes.”
“Well, when you say a complete rewrite, you mean starting with the skeleton?” asked Hotz, a well-known hacker who quit Twitter earlier in the day. Or a group of engineers sits down with a whiteboard and says, “What is Twitter?” “Revolution or reform?”
Brown responded with a “hysterically laughing” emoji, which briefly appeared on his avatar as part of the functionality that allows Twitter Space participants to express themselves while another person is speaking.
Musk replied, “You either need to tweak the existing crazy set or rewrite it.”
Brown entered again, questioning Musk about what he really meant and if he could “break” it.
“who are you?!” Musk asked agitated.
“What do you mean by me? I don’t know! You gave me an f-ing microphone!” Brown said.
Hotez then interjected, stating that he had allowed Brown the opportunity to speak and requesting that the conversation be “more civil”.
“I mean, man, you’re in charge of the servers and the programming and whatever,” Brown continued.
“What’s a stack, Elon? Take me from top to bottom. What does a stack look like now? What’s so crazy about that? What’s so abnormal about this stack versus any other large-scale system on the planet, buddy? Come on!”
“Amazing! You donkey!” Musk replied.
“Haha ok! I have no credibility here, buddy,” Brown replied.
Then Hotz Braun muffled.
“Okay! said Musk.
The Post requested comment from Brown. Musk, who fired his media relations team upon taking control of Twitter after its $44 billion acquisition in late October, could not be reached for comment.
The spat came a day after Musk said he was laying off half of Twitter’s staff and cutting costs in order to save the company from a $3 billion hole in its budget.
“This is why I’ve spent the last five weeks cutting costs like crazy,” Musk told Twitter users who followed an audio chat on Twitter Spaces Tuesday night.
“This company is like, basically, you’re in a plane that’s going toward the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls not working.”
Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October with the help of $13 billion in debt. The Twitter boss is on the hook about making interest payments of about $1.5 billion annually.
“If you hadn’t made any changes,” Musk said, Twitter’s net cash flow would have been $6.5 billion next year.
Earlier Tuesday, Musk announced that he would eventually step down as CEO of Twitter once he finds “someone stupid enough” to succeed him.
Musk pledged to stick to the results of a Twitter poll that asked more than 122 million followers if he should continue as CEO. Roughly 58% of the 17 million respondents voted in favor of Musk’s resignation.