Thursday, August 4 2022

Elon Musk avoided discussing the collapsed Twitter deal, only repeating allegations of problems with fake accounts on the social media platform, as he addressed an audience of tycoons on Saturday, Reuters told two people who attended the conference.

In a wide-ranging interview on Saturday, Musk spent most of his time talking about Mars and extolling the virtues of rising birth rates on Earth, one of the sources said. Musk, chief executive of Tesla Inc and rocket company Space X, said he aims to establish a civilization on Mars.

Earlier this week, Musk said he would do his best to help what he called “the underpopulation crisis”, following a media report that he had twins with a senior executive at his brain chip start-up Neuralink.

The billionaire entrepreneur took the stage at the Allen & Co Sun Valley Conference, an annual gathering of media and technology executives in Idaho, less than 24 hours after announcing he was ending his contract $44 billion to buy Twitter Inc.

The interview was conducted by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research company, founded by Musk and several others.

Musk’s arrival at the Allen & Co Sun Valley conference has given a boost to the unofficial event this week, where the headlines usually happen beyond the prying eyes of the media.

“It looks like an absolute mess,” said a senior media official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the interview. “The guy makes his own rules…I would hate to be on Twitter, where you have to take this guy seriously.”

Sun Valley is usually covered like an athleisure version of the Met Gala, with photographers capturing the arrivals of fleece media moguls and reporters taking note of energizing lunches at the Konditorei cafe on the property.

On Friday, a Hollywood power broker expressed hope that Musk’s interview would liven up the stuffy, cerebral atmosphere at the conference this year.

Hours later, Musk’s lawyers sent an eight-page letter to Twitter saying he planned to cancel the deal to acquire the social network. The document, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleged that Twitter failed to respond to repeated requests for information over the past two months or obtain consent before taking actions that would impact its business. such as the dismissal of two key executives.

Conversations in media circles until then had centered on Wall Street’s reassessment of the streaming business following Netflix Inc.’s subscriber losses. A digital media executive said Hollywood, which has typically been recession-proof, suddenly worried about how a declining economy would affect his multi-billion dollar investments in streaming services.

“For the first time people are aware that the economy is impacting the entertainment industry as inflation is impacting churn,” the digital media manager said, referring to subscribers leaving. a service. “People are now saying, ‘Wow, are people really going to pay for three of these things?’

Following Musk’s announcement, a chief executive noted the elephant in the room — Saturday’s remarks may well be uncomfortable for two conference attendees: Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal.

One of Musk’s last public messages to Agrawal came in the form of a poop emoji tweet in response to the Twitter CEO’s defense of how the company counts spambots.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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