Despite Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition drawing widespread criticism, one fellow CEO is standing by his side and singing his praises. At the New York Times DealBook conference on Wednesday, Reed Hastings, co-CEO of Netflix, met with Andrew Ross Sorkin and praised the billionaire for his leadership and business savvy.
“What he’s done in multiple areas is phenomenal,” Hastings said, “His style is different. I’m trying to be, like, a steady, respectable leader up here and he’s just out there.” Hastings went on to describe Musk as the “bravest, most creative person on the planet,” adding that he is “100 percent convinced that [Musk] is trying to help the world,” noting that his $44 billion purchase of Twitter went towards buying a company that he is trying to fix versus a “mile-long yacht.”
Hastings also mentioned the controversy over Musk’s introduction and subsequent removal of blue checkmarks for verified and prominent users on Twitter. “People are so picky on the blue checkmark, and yes he’s making a mess of some things,” Hastings conceded. “Give the guy a break, would you? I can see the motivation behind this man’s recent financial outlay; he wants to make things better for democracy and society by providing a more accessible forum.”
Last month, Musk sparked a stir on the platform when he made it possible for users to pay $8 per month to get a blue checkmark, leaving many users confused about which identities were genuine and which were fake parodies or imposters.
Good conversation. Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 30, 2022
Billionaire withdrew the feature due to the confusion (with promises that it would be fine-tuned and rolled out at a later date). Then he unveiled Twitter’s grey verification checkmark, which has been given to influential people, organizations, and government officials as a secondary form of verification.
In a message earlier this week, Musk called his Twitter purge a “fight for the future of civilisation,” adding that if “free speech,” as he defines it, is lost, “tyranny is all that lies ahead.” To the best of our knowledge, as of press time, Musk had not responded publicly to Hastings’ remarks.
Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has been met with significant criticism, but at least one other CEO is standing by him and praising him. The co-CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, met with New York Times DealBook conference speaker Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday and gushed over Sorkin’s leadership and financial acumen.
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