What just happened? The Elon Musk/Twitter saga has been ongoing for months, but the world's richest man finally took control of the platform late yesterday. His first action as head of the company? Firing several of its top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal. He's now said to be taking over the chief executive officer role himself.
It was back in mid-April when Musk made his initial offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion. He then withdrew from the deal over allegations that there are more fake/spam accounts on the site than the company claims.
Both parties looked to be heading to the courts over the matter, but Musk backtracked and agreed to the purchase at the original price. It's suspected he chose this path as the billionaire had little chance of winning a court case, though he claims he's buying Twitter to "try to help humanity."
Musk visited Twitter HQ in San Francisco yesterday carrying a sink ("Let that sink in!"). While there, he assured staff that he had no intention of firing 75% of employees, something he reportedly told investors was part of his plan to make Twitter more profitable. He officially took over on Thursday, just one day before the court-imposed deadline, which, were it not met, would have seen both parties go to court in November.
Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
He might not be firing three-quarters of its workers, but the Tesla CEO has shown several execs the door. The most significant casualty is Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal. The pair clashed during the on/off takeover, with Musk challenging Agrawal to a public debate over the fake account issue.
Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal was another to go, as was Twitter's head of legal, policy, and trust, Vijaya Gadde, and general counsel Sean Edgett, who has been at the company for a decade.
Reuters reports that Agrawal and Segal were in Twitter HQ when the deal closed and were escorted out.
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
Musk previously claimed he wanted to make Twitter a bastion of free speech by reducing moderation, a claim that worried Bill Gates, but he has assured advertisers that it won't become a "free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said without consequences." Musk has already promised to overturn Twitter's permanent ban on Donald Trump.
the bird is freed— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
Following his official takeover, Musk tweeted, "the bird is free," a few hours ago. He also changed his bio to "chief twit."