To rebuild Twitter, Elon Musk hires George Hotz, an ex-hacker with whom he was in conflict

To rebuild Twitter, Elon Musk hires George Hotz, an ex-hacker with whom he was in conflict

It promises big changes in just twelve weeks. George Hotz, an American hacker and computer scientist, ex-hacker prodigy, was hired this week by billionaire Elon Musk to manage the redesign of the social network just bought by the boss of Tesla. A surprising recruitment, because George Hotz was, a few years ago, in competition with the creator of autonomous cars, because designer of a similar product.

Now 33, George Hotz was until recently the CEO of Comma AI, an American company specializing in autonomous driving software. But the young boss left the company and quickly joined the ranks of Twitter for a 12-week express internship.

“I really like to dive into complex codebases and I think I can help document and clean up some of those 1000 microservices in twelve weeks,” he explained after applying for an internship with Elon Musk, an internship he seems to have started this week.

An unpaid internship

Among his objectives, George Hotz hopes to improve Twitter’s search system, remove a pop-up that hides some of Twitter’s content for people who are not logged into their account, or even allow users to search for tweets among those they “liked”.

To work, the young man seems to have adopted a participatory method similar to that of his new boss: since his arrival on Twitter, he has launched, still via the social network, numerous questions to other Internet users on issues to be resolved, and also asks for help on specific aspects of the platform. “I’m not trying to get free work, I just find it funny. I’m here to learn and improve things! “, does he have Explain this Wednesday.

For this express three-month mission, the former genius hacker will not be paid, but his accommodation costs in San Francisco, California, where Twitter’s headquarters are located, will be covered by the company.

Twitter shaken by Elon Musk’s management

Recently, the boss of Twitter, Elon Musk, demanded that employees of the social network give themselves “fully” in their work, by agreeing to work more intensely and for longer periods of time, failing which, he says. , they were going to be fired. Consequence: about half of the 7500 employees of Twitter have left the ship.

In this already stormy context, the thunderous arrival of George Hotz at Twitter is surprising, knowing the liabilities of the CEO of Comma AI and Elon Musk. In 2015, the latter wanted to hire George Hotz, who believed he could improve the autopilot software for Tesla’s autonomous cars, a job that ultimately never took place, the young man being unhappy with the terms of employment imposed by Elon Musk. Subsequently, George Hotz designed online self-driving software himself, which he shared online for free.

Before that, George Hotz was best known for having hacked, as a teenager, the locking system of the iPhone, which allowed to unlock it. He later came to prominence again for hacking into the Playstation 3 system, which resulted in a lawsuit against him from Sony.