Elon Musk takes charge at Twitter: Tesla CEO fires top executives ahead of $44bn takeover
The new owner of Twitter visited the company’s San Francisco offices on Wednesday and has reportedly sacked the CEO and CFO as he begins to clear house.
The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, is wasting little time in his acquisition of Twitter. Ahead of the Friday deadline for the deal to be completed, Musk reportedly toured the company’s San Francisco offices and fired at least four top executives.
The New York Times reports that chief executive Parag Agrawal; chief financial officer Ned Segal; policy executive Vijaya Gadde; and Sean Edgett, the general counsel, were all relieved of their services.
The report adds that at least one of those who was fired had to be escorted from the building.
Under the terms of the preliminary agreement, Musk has until Friday to complete the $44 billion takeover or he will likely face a court battle to complete the purchase. Musk previously reneged on the initial deal, but Twitter launched a legal challenge claiming that the 51-year-old was “refusing to honour his obligations.”
Musk is now expected to continue with the purchase at the price of $54.20 first forwarded back in spring. After a protracted takeover process, Musk is clearly eager to make some changes now his is close to assuming control of the platform.
What will Elon Musk do with Twitter?
It is clear that Musk has significant ambitions with Twitter, but the speed with which he has apparently disposed of those key executives will have shocked some onlookers. If the takeover is confirmed on Friday as expected, what might the Tesla CEO do next?
In recent years Musk has railed publically against what he sees as excessive moderation on the site. Twitter was one of the first to restrict the account of former President Donald Trump and Musk has criticised the decision.
In a post earlier this year, Musk insisted that Twitter must stay “politically neutral” to avoid alienating the public.
He has reiterated his belief in digital freedom and may well choose to roll back some of the censorship measures currently in place. However many of these rules relate to hate speech and incitement of violence, and any changes would likely be met with strong opposition.
In terms of the technical advancement that Musk may push for, he has previously called for Twitter DMs to be encrypted. The sort of protection offered by WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal is absent from Twitter’s messaging service currently but that may be about to change.