Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44bn, sacks top executives

Parag Agrawal, Ned Segal, finance director at Musk and Vijaya Gadde, legal affairs and policy chief at Vijaya Gadde were fired by Musk.

After completing his $44bn (£38bn), takeover of Twitter, Elon Musk has fired a number of top Twitter executives.

Parag Agrawal, Chief Executive Officer at Twitter, and Ned Segal, Chief Financial Officer at the company, were fired by Musk. Vijaya Gadde was also fired as legal affairs and policy chief. Sean Edgett was also fired, having served as general counsel at Twitter since 2012.

According to reports, Mr Segal and Mr Agrawal were at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters during the closing of the deal and were escorted away.

Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter with Jack Dorsey, thanked their three fired bosses and described them as “massive talent” and “beautiful people”.

After taking control of the company last evening, Musk tweeted that “the bird has been freed”.

This is the first of a series of changes that Musk will likely implement. His takeover of Twitter was marred by legal battles and controversy.

Bloomberg reported that Tesla’s chief executive stated that he would like to eliminate user bans because he doesn’t believe in lifetime restrictions.

This means that people who were previously kicked off the platform might be allowed to return. However, it is unclear if this will include former US President Donald Trump.

Musk stated that he would “defeat” the spam bots on Twitter. He also wants to make the algorithms that determine the content presented to users publically available. This will prevent Twitter from becoming an echo chamber for hatred and division while limiting censorship.

Musk has not provided details about how he intends to do this or who will be running the company. He spoke with staff this week and said that reports that he planned to reduce 75% of the company’s workforce were incorrect.

He also stated yesterday that he didn’t buy Twitter for more money, but to “help humanity, whom I love”,

The $44bn purchase (£38bn), is the culmination of a fascinating saga that cast doubt on whether Mr Musk would close the deal. On April 4, Musk, the largest shareholder of the San Francisco company’s 9.2pc, disclosed his stake.

The world’s wealthiest person agreed to join Twitter’s board. Twitter baulked at the last moment and offered to buy Twitter instead for $54.20 per share. This offer was misinterpreted by Twitter as yet another one of Mr Musk’s cannabis jokes.

Musk’s offer was genuine and the two sides agreed to a deal in just one weekend. This was done without Mr Musk conducting any due diligence on the company’s confidential data, which is standard in acquisitions.

Musk began to have second thoughts in the weeks that followed. Musk publicly complained that Twitter’s spam accounts were much higher than the estimate published by Twitter in regulatory filings. This figure is less than 5% of Twitter’s monetisable daily users.

Twitter’s lawyers accused him of not responding to his requests for information.

On July 8, Musk sent notice to Twitter that he was ending their agreement. He claimed that Twitter had misled him about the bots and that they did not cooperate with him. Twitter sued Mr Musk in Delaware four days later to stop him from completing the deal.

The shares of social media companies as well as the stock market plunged due to concerns that Federal Reserve’s interest rates hikes, which are intended to combat inflation, would push the US economy into recession.

Twitter accused Musk of buyer’s regret, claiming he wanted out of the deal because it was too expensive.

Just as Musk was about to be deposed in front of Twitter’s trial, on October 4, he did another U-turn. He offered to finish the deal as promised.

He was given a deadline of October 28 by a Delaware judge to close the transaction and avoid trial.

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