Elon Musk Completes Twitter Purchase, Fires CEO and Other Top Execs

Elon Musk Completes Twitter Purchase, Fires CEO and Other Top Execs

Tweeting “the bird is freed,” Elon Musk began his $44 billion takeover of Twitter by immediately sacking some of the top executives on the platform, including CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal. Also on the chopping block were Vijaya Gadde, who’d headed legal, policy, and trust issues; and general counsel Sean Edgett.

On Wednesday, Musk posted a video of himself marching through Twitter’s offices carrying a kitchen sink, captioned “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!”

Musk’s six-month on-again, off-again effort to take over Twitter put an end to the company’s status as a publicly traded company, which it had been since November of 2013.
Although Musk last week had reportedly told investors that he planned to lay off about 3,500 employees—three-fourths of Twitter’s staff—he seems to have backed down on this threat.

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However, layoffs still seem likely.

Musk’s takeover was influenced in part by ideological motivations: the multi-billionaire had criticized Twitter for allegedly censoring conservative opinions. It’s now being speculated that, under Musk, the social-media platform will be reevaluating some of its policies restricting hate speech and misinformation. These policies were used to permanently ban Donald Trump from Twitter as a result of his tweets around the January 6 insurrection.
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Musk claims that his acquisition of Twitter was not purely for financial reasons, but had some humanitarian motivations. In a letter released on Thursday, he wrote: “The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”

“Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” he continued. “In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”

The takeover this week ended a rollercoaster ride in which Musk had wanted to call off the whole deal, claiming that Twitter had been breaching the terms of the acquisition agreement. During the summer, he alleged that Twitter had made “false and misleading representations” about company policies, which the company had termed “invalid and wrongful.” Twitter sued Musk in a Delaware court, claiming that he had “repeatedly disparaged Twitter and the deal, creating business risk for Twitter and downward pressure on its share price.”

As for future plans, Musk has floated the idea of creating “X, the app for everything” which would weave together various applications, like messaging, social media, and financial transactions, after the fashion of China’s WeChat app.

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