Elon Musk took control of Twitter and fired executives

Elon Musk took control of Twitter and fired executives

Elon Musk, the head of Tesla and SpaceX, took control of Twitter on Thursday after finalizing the acquisition of the social network for 44,000 million dollars, according to several articles in the specialized American press.

• Read also: Elon Musk doesn’t want to make Twitter a “hellish” platform

• Read also: Elon Musk Renames Himself ‘Chief Twit’ and Is Filmed at Twitter Headquarters

• Read also: Elon Musk wants to fire three-quarters of Twitter employees

After months of a saga of twists and turns, the new boss immediately fired chief Parag Agrawal and two other executives, chief financial officer Ned Segal and chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, according to unnamed sources on CNBC and the Washington Post.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request from AFP.

Elon Musk had until Friday to complete the acquisition of the social network, otherwise a trial would have been held in November.

The operation has dragged on since the announcement in late April of a $44 billion takeover offer, reluctantly accepted by Twitter. The businessman sought to get out of it unilaterally in early July, accusing the company of having lied to him, but the company’s board took legal action.

Earlier this month, just days before a lawsuit Twitter seemed poised to win, Elon Musk finally offered to close the deal at the initially agreed price.

On Wednesday, he visited Twitter headquarters in San Francisco and renamed himself “Chief Twit” on his profile: “twit” means “moron” in English.

On Thursday night, when the media announced the layoffs, several employees of the Californian group showed their support for the old management.

“Thanks to Parag Agrawl, Vijaya Gadde and Ned Segal for their collective contribution to Twitter,” the network’s co-founder Biz Stone wrote, praising their “tremendous talent” and “humanity.”

“Future of Civilization”

In late April, shortly after signing the initial purchase agreement, Elon Musk publicly criticized Twitter executives and mocked Vijaya Gadde.

His takeover worries a large part of Twitter employees, and many users and NGOs who call on social networks to better fight abuses, from harassment to disinformation.

Because the billionaire, presenting himself as a fervent defender of freedom of expression, wants to relax the moderation of content. He opened the door for a comeback for Donald Trump, who was banned from Twitter shortly after supporting his supporters who participated in the January 2021 storming of Capitol Hill.

Elected Republicans and supporters of Donald Trump have also welcomed Twitter’s potential change of address. “FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!”, for example, Marjorie Taylor Greene, an elected far-right, tweeted Thursday night.

But advertisers generally prefer to back their ads with consensual content.

On Thursday, Elon Musk tried to reassure them by saying that he wanted to allow all opinions to be expressed on the social network, without turning it into a “hellish” platform where everything would be allowed.

It is “important for the future of civilization to have an online public square where a wide variety of opinions can be discussed in a healthy way, without resorting to violence,” he wrote in a message specifically aimed at brands, which concentrate the majority of Twitter revenue.

He also assures that he did not start the purchase because it was “easy” or “to make money”, but to “try to help humanity”.

“Voluntary Departures”

Elon Musk also wants to strengthen the fight against spam. He also made cryptic allusions to “X,” his vision of an all-purpose app (messaging, social networking, financial services, etc.), like WeChat in China.

An employee, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, estimated that more than 700 employees had left the California group since June, according to internal figures.

“They are rather voluntary departures, either for ethical reasons or for purely economic reasons, because a company that is not listed is less interesting,” he believes.

The leader, in fact, has planned to take Twitter out of the stock market.

However, earlier this month, he told a conference that it was “essential” for Tesla to go public on Wall Street, “because if the public doesn’t like what Tesla is doing, the public can buy shares and vote differently.” .

“It’s very important that I can’t just do what I want,” he added, laughing.

a chaotic saga

The purchases have continued since last April.

A day before his deadline, Musk bought the social media company for $44 billion, one of the biggest acquisitions of a technology company in history.

The events began in January when Musk bought shares of Twitter.

The CEO of Tesla even sent a poop emoji in Parag Agrawal, the CEO of Twitter.

On March 14, Musk had a 5% stake in the social media company.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has deemed it high enough to require public disclosure.

Musk did not disclose his stake until April 4, by which time he had amassed about 9.2% of Twitter’s shares.

The next day, Twitter told the SEC that it intended to appoint Musk to its board.

On April 10, Musk reportedly opted not to join the Board

On April 14, Musk offered to buy the company for $54.20 a share.

On May 13, Musk tweeted that the deal was “pending.”

The following month, Musk filed a complaint with the SEC.

He claimed that Twitter was “actively resisting and thwarting his information rights.”

Musk threatened to cancel the purchase agreement.

In July, Twitter retaliated by suing Musk and accusing him of not wanting to fulfill his obligations.

On July 19, the judge agreed to a five-day expedited trial in October.

On August 4, Musk responded to Twitter. Both sides have served more than 100 subpoenas.

On August 23, the Washington Post posted an 84-page complaint from Twitter’s former head of security.

Recently, Musk was ready to buy the platform at the initially agreed price. With two conditions: that the current procedure is suspended and that it receives the necessary financing.

The trial scheduled to start this month will likely be cancelled.

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