Elon Musk will be the interim CEO of Twitter
A person familiar with the situation said that Elon Musk is likely to become Twitter’s interim CEO after completing his $US44 billion ($62 billion) takeover of the social media company. The billionaire is getting closer to getting the money he needs for the deal.
Musk is the richest person in the world. He is also the CEO of Tesla and runs The Boring Company and SpaceX.
Thursday, Tesla shares fell more than 8% because investors worried that Musk’s use of Twitter could take him away from running the world’s most valuable electric car company.
On the other hand, Twitter shares kept going up and were up about 1.8% at $50, which is closer to the deal price of $US54.20. Investors bet that the new funding made it more likely that the deal would go through.
The CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, was named in November. He is expected to keep his job until the sale of the company to Musk is done. CNBC was the first to report on Thursday that Musk plans to take over as interim CEO of Twitter.
Musk announced earlier on Thursday that a group of high-profile investors, such as Oracle’s co-founder Larry Ellison and Sequoia Capital, are willing to put up $US7.14 billion ($10 billion) to help him buy Twitter.
Last month, Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said that the deal price was not enough for him to sell his shares. This month, he said that Musk would be an “excellent leader” for Twitter and agreed to roll his $US1.89 billion stake into the deal.
Alwaleed said in a tweet, “Great to connect with you, my “new” friend @elonmusk. Kingdom Holding Company and I look forward to rolling our roughly $1.9 billion into the “new” Twitter.”
Musk raised the amount of money committed to financing to $US27.25 billion, which includes commitments from 19 investors. At the same time, he lowered the amount of a margin loan from Morgan Stanley to $US6.25 billion. He has already made plans for loans worth $US13 billion.
The other investors are the cryptocurrency company Binance, the firm of New York real estate mogul Steven Witkoff, and DFJ Growth IV Partners, which has money in the Boring Company, SpaceX, SolarCity, and Tesla, among other companies.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said, “We hope to help bring social media and web3 together and increase the use and adoption of crypto and blockchain technology.”
Reuters reported on Monday that Musk was in talks with large investment firms and high-net-worth individuals about getting more money to buy Twitter and putting less of his own money into the deal.
A regulatory filing says that Musk will continue to talk with Twitter shareholders, like the company’s former CEO Jack Dorsey, about contributing shares to the proposed takeover.
Larry Ellison, who is on the board of Tesla and calls himself Musk’s best friend, has put up $1 billion to help fund the project.
Elon Musk, who calls himself an “absolute free speech absolutist,” has pushed for user-friendly changes to Twitter, such as an “edit” button and stopping “spambots” that send out a lot of unwanted tweets. He has also said he would try to keep as many investors as possible on Twitter.
Investors have been worried about whether or not Musk will close the deal to buy Twitter.
At the last minute in April, he decided not to join Twitter’s board. Musk tweeted in 2018 that he had “secured funding” for a $US72 billion deal to take Tesla private, but he did not make a deal.
If Musk left Twitter, he would have to pay a $US1 billion fee to get out of the deal. Twitter could also sue him to finish the deal.
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