Elon Musk tweets deal done, CEO fired


SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk became owner of Twitter late Thursday, marking the end of his $44 billion acquisition of the company, marking the end of one of the world’s most influential social media platforms new era.

As his first step, he fired several Twitter executives, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. One of them confirmed the deal had been completed.

Chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Siegel and head of legal policy, trust and safety Vijaya Gade were all fired, people familiar with the matter said. The company’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, was also ousted, one of the people said. Top executives were rushed out of the building, the people said.

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Musk’s move late Thursday indicated that he intends to put his stamp on one of the world’s most influential social media companies. Musk has publicly criticized Twitter’s outgoing management of product decisions and content moderation, and said he would reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account.

Still, “Twitter clearly can’t be an omnipresent hell where anything said will have no consequences!” Musk tweeted on Thursday.

The closing of the deal ended a months-long roller coaster saga in which the billionaire — the world’s richest man — made a hostile takeover, bought the company at a premium, only to turn his back on the deal and then enter a fierce legal battle war and social networks.

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But in recent days, Musk has seemed resigned, even enthusiastic, about his impending ownership. According to a photo he posted to more than 100 million Twitter followers, he made a surprise appearance at the company’s offices on Wednesday with a sink in his hand, suggesting the message that he would be the owner needed to “sink.”

He plans to hold a company-wide town hall on Friday.

Neither Twitter nor executives immediately responded to requests for comment.

The moves put the high-profile entrepreneur at the helm of one of the world’s most powerful communications platforms, just days before major elections in the United States and Brazil.

Musk, a transportation mogul who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, offered some clues as to what he would do if he took over Twitter — even though he has no experience running a social media service.

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He suggested he wants to relax standards governing harmful content, such as misinformation and hate speech. He also condemned social media companies for so-called censorship.

He has repeatedly criticized the company and supported cyberattacks against individual executives. He told potential investors and partners that he hopes to turn the company around financially by laying off nearly 75% of its workforce and pursuing new business opportunities, including getting people to subscribe to exclusive content from popular influencers on the service.

Compared to his predecessor, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey or his current rival, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Musk represents an alternative to a social media company. an owner.

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During his Twitter campaign, he has at times positioned himself as a moderate, but also announced plans to vote for the Republican president in 2024. He also spoke on the geopolitical conflict between China and Taiwan and the war in Ukraine.

Inside Twitter, Musk’s arrival was met with resentment and frustration — although Musk’s visit on Wednesday left some hope. Those hopes were quickly dashed with the firing of top executives who had earned the trust of existing employees.

Sentiment after Wednesday’s visit was “a little bit more positive overall,” said an employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the company, adding that “everyone is ready to close this chapter and learn about the reception.” What’s going to happen down there.”

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