LinkedIn founder and Elon Musk's longtime friend said he worried when he heard about the billionaire's decision to buy Twitter: 'It was like "Oh my god, another huge problem"'

LinkedIn founder and Elon Musk's longtime friend said he worried when he heard about the billionaire's decision to buy Twitter: 'It was like "Oh my god, another huge problem"'
Reid Hoffman sits in the lobby of LinkedIn's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on Dec. 1, 2020.Noah Berger and Hannibal Hanschk via Associated Press
  • Reid Hoffman said he was initially concerned when he learned of Elon Musk's decision to buy Twitter.
  • But, the LinkedIn founder said the billionaire has already showed he can juggle SpaceX and Tesla.

LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman said he was worried when he first learned of Elon Musk's plan to buy Twitter.

"I read the tweet and I think I had the reaction of most people, it was like, 'Oh my God, another huge problem. He's already dealing with a large number,'" Hoffman told Axios in a podcast interview, referencing Musk's offer to buy Twitter on April 14.

Hoffman is a longtime friend of Musk and a member of the so-called PayPal Mafia — the group of entrepreneurs that helped Musk on his first business venture and later went on to found some of Silicon Valley's most successful companies.

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The LinkedIn cofounder reportedly wasn't the only one in Musk's social circle who had doubts about the $44 billion purchase. Several of Musk's close friends warned him against entering the deal and worried he had taken on more than he could handle, Axios reported, citing friends close to Musk who declined to speak on the record due to the ongoing lawsuits between Twitter and Musk.

Hoffman told Axios he never doubts Musk for long — even when it came to his initial decision to purchase Twitter.


"After that was the thought, 'I was one of the people who thought he couldn't do both Tesla and SpaceX and clearly was wrong,'" Hoffman said.

The tech founder said he almost immediately texted Musk saying "Okay, this is a big deal." He also texted several friends, "Wow, this could change the world. What do you think the plan is?"

Hoffman has been known to support Musk in the past. In July, the entrepreneur went to bat for Musk after former president Donald Trump slammed the Tesla CEO.

"Not surprised to see Trump's attacks on @elonmusk. Elon's a classic immigrant story — an entrepreneur with a real record of success," Hoffman tweeted at the time. "Started EV revolution w/Tesla, resurrected US rocket industry w/SpaceX, fighting climate change while promoting American innovation."

After Twitter sued Musk in July for attempting to back out of the purchase agreement, several of Musk's closest friends were drawn into the legal battle — spawning over 100 subpoenas from both sides of the court battle. In August, two of Musk's PayPal Mafia buddies, David Sacks and Joe Lonsdale, slammed Twitter for dragging them into the legal battle. Sacks called Twitter's legal requests a "giant fishing expedition."


Whether Musk will be forced to buy Twitter has yet to be decided. The billionaire is facing a five-day trial in October over the $44 billion purchase.

Listen to Axios' full podcast here.