Elon Musk is officially Twitter's new owner, and he's firing executives already
- Twitter and Musk fought for months over his attempt to back out of the acquisition.
- Now Musk is taking over the company, ousting executives and setting meetings with engineering teams.
Thursday evening, Twitter and Musk formally closed on the billionaire's offer to take the company private by paying $54.20 per share, equal to about $44 billion, sources close to the deal told Insider. Musk made a U-turn on the offer in October, after spending months trying to back out of the agreement. The same evening, Musk also ousted CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal, the sources said. Chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde and general counsel Sean Edgett are out, too.
"The bird is freed," Musk tweeted late Thursday.
Musk has been at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters this week, meeting with workers and holding impromptu discussions with them in the cafe, Insider reported. He entered the building on Wednesday carrying a large bathroom sink, a nod to it "sinking in" that he is Twitter's new leader. An all-hands meeting with employees is expected to take place on Friday.
Yesterday, Musk changed his Twitter bio to read only "Chief Twit." He previously said he would become the leader of Twitter, although the title of CEO is not important to him. "I don't really care what title is, but obviously, people do need to listen to me," he told employees in June. Musk also runs Tesla, where his official title is "Technoking," in addition to leading roles at SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company.
As a result of the new deal, Twitter's lawsuit against Musk over the $44 billion purchase will come to an end after Twitter files for the case to be dismissed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, University of Michigan business law professor Erik Gordon said.
The judge overseeing Twitter's lawsuit against Musk gave them until Friday, October 28 to reach an agreement outside of court or face a five-day trial next month. A trial was originally set to be held earlier in October, but after a series of orders in favor of Twitter and the publication of some private text messages from Musk, he returned to the bargaining table. While the two sides were said to be close to agreeing on a deal at $50 per share, Musk ultimately went back to his original offer of $54.20.
Representatives for Twitter and Musk did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Musk first agreed in late April to buy Twitter. By the start of May, he was privately expressing reservations about the deal he'd signed and soon tweeted it was was "on hold," launching months of back and forth over seemingly pretextual claims about "bots" or inauthentic accounts on Twitter.
While Musk said in an initial statement on the acquisition that he wanted to control Twitter, in part, to "defeat the spam bots," he proceeded to claim the problem was worse than Twitter had let on, amounting to fraud and allowing him to walk away from the company. He sent a letter to Twitter at the start of July, purporting to terminate the acquisition. Twitter promptly sued him in what proved to be a contentious and costly court battle.
Now, with Musk in control of the company, questions continue to fly about what he will change. He has said there will be layoffs, but not how deep cuts will go. He wants to build it into a "super app," yet has laid out no plans to do so. The ousting of the C-suite has been expected for weeks, still Musk has not said who will help him lead the company.
So far, Musk appears to be interested mainly in the technical capabilities of the company and its staff. The very evening the deal was signed, engineering team managers hastily messaged their staffers. Meetings with Musk had been scheduled for Friday morning with a simple directive: "bring code."
Are you a Twitter employee or someone with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at email@example.com, on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device.
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