“There’s a lot of examples of Elon spiraling out of control,” Ben Mezrich said in an interview. “He got so paranoid at one point that he disallowed any meetings of more than two people at Twitter because he was afraid of a mutiny.”
Mezrich said the Tesla CEO was afraid employees would sabotage the site and that there was a plot to bring him down.
Representatives for Musk did not immediately respond to BI’s request for comment.
“Breaking Twitter” focuses on Musk’s chaotic takeover of the platform last year. Mezrich has said he gained “unique access to Twitter employees and Musk’s confidants.”
In an article published in January, The Verge reported that large meetings had been banned at Musk’s “hardcore” Twitter. Amir Shevat, who managed Twitter’s developer platform, told the outlet the message was “if you do that, you risk getting fired.”
Musk’s fears, although extreme, may not have been completely unfounded. Mezrich said a group of employees had been planning to quit en masse.
“A bunch of high-level people at Twitter who were going to do a mass quitting event,” he said. “So it wasn’t ‘sabotage the site,’ but there were back channel conversations going on between Twitter employees about sort of finding a way to just all walk out.”
Mezrich said Musk’s acquisition of X, paired with the scrutiny and unpopularity that followed, had a serious impact on the billionaire’s mental health.
“There’s a lot of examples of Elon spiraling out of control,” he said. “I think it’s part of Elon sort of striking back at the world when he feels cornered. You see a lot of that in his behavior.”