Elon Musk has finally acquired Twitter for $44 billion, a price 10 times its worth. Soon after reports trickled in of him firing the senior management, including CEO Parag Agarwal. He twitted his first response.
“the bird is free,” he claimed after closing the deal.
Citing people with knowledge of the situation, a New York Times report said that Musk “has started cleaning house at Twitter with the firings of at least four top executives”.
The Twitter executives who were fired include Parag Agrawal, Gadde, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and General Counsel Sean Edgett.
“At least one of the executives who was fired was escorted out of Twitter’s office,” the report said.
After initially agreeing to buy the company in April, Musk spent months attempting to get out of the deal, first citing concerns about the number of bots on the platform and later allegations raised by a company whistleblower.
Agrawal, 38, was appointed Twitter CEO in November last year after the social media site’s co-founder Jack Dorsey had stepped down.
As the Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump was permanently suspended in January last year, Hyderabad-born Gadde was at the forefront of this dramatic decision undertaken within days of the attempted insurrection by pro-Trump supporters at the US Capitol.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone thanked Agrawal, Segal and Gadde for their “massive contribution” to the business.
“Thank you to @paraga, @vijaya , and @nedsegal for the collective contribution to Twitter. Massive talents, all, and beautiful humans each!” Stone tweeted.
Musk arrived at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday and had been meeting with engineers and advertising executives.
Musk also updated his Twitter description to “Chief Twit.”
Musk has promised to transform Twitter by loosening the service’s content moderation rules, making its algorithm more transparent and nurturing subscription businesses, as well as laying off employees.
In April, Twitter accepted Musk’s proposal to buy the social media service and take it private.
However, Musk soon began sowing doubt about his intentions to follow through with the agreement, alleging that the company failed to adequately disclose the number of spam and fake accounts on the service.
When Musk said he was terminating the deal, Twitter sued the billionaire, alleging he “refuses to honour his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.”
Earlier in October, Musk said he wanted to pursue his acquisition of Twitter at the original price of USD 54.20 a share if the social messaging service dropped its litigation.
Twitter’s lawyers said that the Tesla CEO’s “proposal is an invitation to further mischief and delay.”
A Delaware Chancery Court judge eventually ruled that Musk had until October 28 to cement the Twitter deal or head to trial.
(With PTI inputs)