Tesla CEO Elon Musk Takes Control of Twitter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Takes Management of Twitter

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken management of Twitter and ousted the CEO, chief monetary officer and the corporate’s prime lawyer, two individuals acquainted with the deal mentioned Oct. 27.

The individuals wouldn’t say if all of the paperwork for the deal, initially valued at $44 billion, had been signed or if the deal has closed. However they mentioned Musk is accountable for the social media platform and has fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Chief Authorized Counsel Vijaya Gadde. Neither individual needed to be recognized due to the delicate nature of the deal.

Just a few hours later, Musk tweeted, “the chicken has been freed,” a reference to Twitter’s emblem.

The departures got here simply hours earlier than a deadline set by a Delaware decide to finalize the deal on Oct. 28. She threatened to schedule a trial if no settlement was reached.

Though they got here shortly, the foremost personnel strikes had been extensively anticipated and nearly definitely are the primary of many main modifications the mercurial Musk will make.

Musk privately clashed with Agrawal in April, instantly earlier than deciding to make a bid for the corporate, in keeping with textual content messages later revealed in court docket filings.

Gadde by Martina Albertazzi/Bloomberg Information

About the identical time, he used Twitter to criticize Gadde, the corporate’s prime lawyer. His tweets have been adopted by a wave of harassment of Gadde from different Twitter accounts. For Gadde, an 11-year Twitter worker who additionally heads public coverage and security, the harassment included racist and misogynistic assaults, along with requires Musk to fireside her. On Oct. 27, after she was fired, the harassing tweets lit up as soon as once more.

Musk’s modifications will probably be geared toward growing Twitter’s subscriber base and income.

In his first massive transfer earlier on Oct. 27, Musk tried to assuage leery Twitter advertisers saying that he’s shopping for the platform to assist humanity and doesn’t need it to turn out to be a “free-for-all hellscape.”

The message gave the impression to be geared toward addressing considerations amongst advertisers — Twitter’s chief income — that Musk’s plans to advertise free speech by reducing again on moderating content material will open the floodgates to extra on-line toxicity and drive away customers.

“The rationale I acquired Twitter is as a result of it is very important the way forward for civilization to have a standard digital city sq., the place a variety of beliefs may be debated in a wholesome method, with out resorting to violence,” Musk wrote in an uncharacteristically lengthy message for the Tesla CEO, who usually initiatives his ideas in one-line tweets.

He continued: “There may be at present nice hazard that social media will splinter into far proper wing and much left wing echo chambers that generate extra hate and divide our society.”

Musk has beforehand expressed distaste for promoting and Twitter’s dependence on it, suggesting extra emphasis on different enterprise fashions corresponding to paid subscriptions that received’t permit massive firms to dictate coverage on how social media operates. However on Oct. 27, he assured advertisers he needs Twitter to be “probably the most revered promoting platform on the planet.”

The observe is a shift from Musk’s place that Twitter is unfairly infringing on free speech rights by blocking misinformation or graphic content material, mentioned Pinar Yildirim, affiliate professor of selling on the College of Pennsylvania’s Wharton College.

But it surely’s additionally a realization that having no content material moderation is dangerous for enterprise, placing Twitter liable to dropping advertisers and subscribers, she mentioned.

“You don’t want a spot the place customers simply merely are bombarded with issues they don’t wish to hear about, and the platform takes no accountability,” Yildirim mentioned.

Musk mentioned Twitter must be “heat and welcoming to all” and allow customers to decide on the expertise they wish to have.

The Oct. 28 deadline to shut the deal was ordered by the Delaware Chancery Courtroom in early October. It was the most recent step in a battle that started in April with Musk signing a deal to amass Twitter, then attempting to again out of it, main Twitter to sue the Tesla CEO to power him to undergo with the acquisition. If the 2 sides didn’t meet the Oct. 28 deadline, the subsequent step may need been a November trial that would have led to a decide forcing Musk to finish the deal.

However Musk has been signaling that the deal was going via. He strolled into the corporate’s San Francisco headquarters Oct. 26 carrying a porcelain sink, modified his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit,” and tweeted “Getting into Twitter HQ — let that sink in!”

And in a single day the New York Inventory Trade notified traders that it’s going to droop buying and selling in shares of Twitter earlier than the opening bell Oct. 28 in anticipation of the corporate going personal underneath Musk.

By AP Enterprise Writers Barbara Ortutay, Tom Krisher and Matt O’Brien

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