Elon Musk's year-long reign over X (formerly Twitter) has seen a significant drop in the company's value.
Internal documents exposed by the New York Times reveal that X's valuation has plummeted to around $19 billion, marking a staggering 55% decline from the $44 billion Musk forked over just a year ago.
Musk originally paid $54.20 per share for Twitter, later admitting it was a costly bet. In March, he expressed a valuation of $20 billion, calling it "an inverse start-up."
However, the recent issuance of stock grants from X shows that equity will now be offered at $45 per share in the form of restricted stock units, gradually earned by employees. Those holding previous shares will receive a cash payout of $54.20 each.
Curiously, X's share price hasn't mirrored the same decline as its valuation, raising questions about potential changes to the number of outstanding shares. Despite the value decrease, X remains committed to its transformation under Musk's leadership.
During his tenure, over 80% of the company's 7,500 employees have left or been laid off. Musk has revamped the verification process and content moderation rules, and saddled the company with substantial debt to finance the acquisition.
Advertising income, a core revenue stream for X, plummeted nearly 60% in the U.S. over the summer.
Nevertheless, Musk maintains an optimistic outlook for X's future.
In a recent company meeting commemorating the acquisition's first anniversary, he unveiled his vision for X as an all-encompassing app, complete with features like dating services and job recruitment.
Linda Yaccarino, X's CEO, shares this vision, encouraging employees to focus on the company's transformative potential. While X's valuation has dramatically fallen, the journey under Musk's ownership remains a source of intrigue and speculation.
Elon Musk to Join Global AI Summit in the U.K.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk is set to make his presence known at an international conference centered on AI in the United Kingdom later this week.
Commenting on this, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that he will engage in a live conversation with the tech billionaire after the event set for November 2.
Bletchley Park is the chosen venue for this summit, aiming to assemble AI experts and world leaders to discuss the potential challenges posed by AI.
Notably, high-profile figures such as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are slated to attend, along with other tech leaders.
The event comes at a time when recent advancements in AI are both celebrated as groundbreaking and viewed as potential threats to humanity. It's a subject of concern regarding job displacement and the proliferation of disinformation.
President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order mandating AI developers to share safety results with the U.S. government, but Musk may push for more extensive action.
He has previously called for a halt to "Giant AI Experiments" and underscored the importance of AI regulation to ensure public safety.
Additionally, Musk has been vocal about his concerns regarding data usage by AI companies in training chatbots, which accumulate massive amounts of data from diverse sources.
This event is sure to be a focal point for crucial discussions on the future of AI and its impact.
Edited by Nikola Djuric