Monday, February 6, 2023

Elon Musk fires Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, other top executives

The Twitter executives fired on Thursday included Ned Segal, Vijaya Gadde, and Sean Edgett, the general counsel at Twitter since 2012.

• October 28, 2022
MUSK; TWITTER; AGRAWAL

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and the new owner of Twitter, has fired Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal and several other top executives of the microblogging site following his $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform.

The Twitter executives fired on Thursday included Ned Segal, the chief financial officer, Vijaya Gadde, the top legal and policy executive, and Sean Edgett, the general counsel at Twitter since 2012. 

Mr Musk completed his takeover of Twitter before the end of the court-imposed deadline of October 28.

His actions followed the speculations of mass layoffs upon his acquisition of the company. 

Last week, an exclusive report by The Washington Post cited interviews and documents, purporting that Mr Musk had told prospective investors that as part of his deal to buy Twitter, he would get rid of nearly 75 per cent of the company’s 7,500 workers

Twitter clarified afterwards to its staff that there were no plans for company-wide layoffs. 

In an open letter on Thursday, Mr Musk spoke to Twitter’s advertisers about the platform’s future, saying he does not want the platform to become a “free-for-all-hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.” 

Mr Musk said he planned to reverse the permanent bans of accounts previously removed from the platform for violating its rules, including former President Donald Trump’s.

“In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences,” he tweeted. “Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise … Let us build something extraordinary together.”

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that equity investors like Sequoia Capital, Binance, Qatar Investment Authority and others received the paperwork for the financing commitment from Mr Musk’s lawyers.

In early October, Mr Musk agreed to buy the company at $54.20 per share, the price he agreed to pay for the company in April after a lengthy legal battle over the terms of the acquisition deal. 

Mr Musk had attempted to back out of the deal by officially notifying an attempt to terminate the agreement in July. However, Twitter approached the court in July, asking it to compel him to complete the deal.

“Musk refuses to honour his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests,” Twitter said in the suit. “Musk apparently believes that he — unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.”

Mr Musk accused Twitter of failing to disclose information about spam bots, also known as fake accounts, on the platform. He maintained that he did not believe the company’s public statements that roughly five per cent of its active users were bots.

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