According to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, Elon Musk has begun his takeover of Twitter after months of legal wrangling. His first step was to remove CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and other key executives.
Musk is taking over just days before the deal’s deadline of Friday. This week, he visited Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco and talked with staff. He also allegedly hired Tesla engineers to “review” Twitter’s code.
The agreement would put an end to the months-long court struggle that has enveloped Twitter since Musk originally proposed to purchase the business for $44 billion in April, only to announce a few weeks later that the acquisition was “on pause.” Musk, who refused to conduct due diligence before making his offer, expressed worry about the number of bots and fraudulent accounts on the network. Later, Twitter’s lawyers contended that the bot issue was only a “pretext” for him to back out of the arrangement.
However, completing the deal will not end Twitter’s problems. Musk has dismissed at least four officials, including Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s senior policy officer, and Sean Edgett, the company’s general counsel, after criticizing the company’s leadership and clashing with Agrawal. According to the New York Times, “at least one” executive was removed out of the company’s headquarters on Thursday. Twitter did not immediately react to a comment request.
Musk, who has altered his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit,” has made it apparent that he plans to make other significant changes to the social media firm. In both public and private conversations, he has stated that he wants to ease Twitter’s moderation policies and that he is opposed to permanent bans. He is also expected to lay off additional personnel, but he has assured employees that the layoffs would not be as severe as 75 percent.
Under Musk’s guidance, Twitter’s core service might potentially undergo significant changes. In addition to easing platform moderation standards, Musk has stated that he wishes to “open source” Twitter’s algorithm so that users may better understand its suggestions. At the same time, he’s sought to convince advertisers that he doesn’t want Twitter to be a “free-for-all hellscape,” but rather the “most respected advertising platform in the world.” Sarah Personette, COO of Twitter, stated that she had a “wonderful chat” with Musk.
Musk, who has frequently stated that he wants Twitter to be “an accelerant to producing X, the everything app,” similar to WeChat in China, is also likely to explore methods to raise non-advertising revenue. He’s recommended improvements to Twitter Blue, as well as charging businesses for tweet embeds.