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Since Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last October, the site — which he annoyingly renamed X — has clearly undergone a decline in both quality and functionality, which is what happens when the head of a company fires half of all his employees, intentionally disempowers largely reliable sources of information in favor of conspiracy-friendly acolytes, and continually drives away advertisers himself. But while the people who used to love Twitter have a lot to complain about, it hasn’t been clear just how bad the changes Musk made have been from a business perspective.
It turns out: Quite bad. The Verge and the New York Times reported that at an internal meeting on Monday, the company announced a new stock grant program for X employees. Staffers were given equity in the company at $45 per share, which marks the total valuation of the company at $19 billion. So X is worth $25 billion less than Musk what paid for it, a loss equal to the entire GDP of Bosnia. Even that measure of X’s year of monstrous losses may be an undercount: Fidelity, which put $300 million into Musk’s highly leveraged purchase, believes the company’s valuation is more like $15 billion. Musk was widely considered to have overpaid for Twitter, so the drop in actual value over the past year probably isn’t actually $20 or $30 billion. Still, it’s an awful lot.
Since June, Musk has been out of his job as X CEO, bestowing that title on former NBCUniversal marketing executive Linda Yaccarino. But his presence on the site isn’t doing her or the company’s advertising team any favors, as he once again drove home on Monday: