The world’s richest person Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion (£38.1 billion) takeover of Twitter, according to a firm investor.
Several top executives, including the CEO, Parag Agrawal, are said to have been fired.
It concludes a saga in which Twitter went to court to hold the billionaire to the terms of a takeover deal that he had tried to avoid.
Mr. Musk stated on Twitter that his interest in the company was not motivated by a desire to make money. Today he told in a tweet ‘the bird is freed’.
the bird is freed
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
The world’s richest man Elon Musk, fired three top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, in one of his first decisions as CEO of the social media giant, multiple US-based media outlets reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
According to the reports, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal, policy, and trust, were also let go.
Twitter’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, was also fired, according to the Washington Post, citing an unnamed source.
The firings have yet to be confirmed by Musk or Twitter.
The Tesla CEO’s purchase concludes a six-month saga in which Twitter initially rejected Musk’s purchase offer and then sued the billionaire after he indicated he would back out of the deal due to concerns about spam accounts and whistleblower claims about lax cybersecurity practices.
Musk’s interest in the platform has become a flashpoint in the debate over free expression in the digital age. Many conservatives have hailed Musk’s takeover as a corrective to Big Tech’s censorship of politically incorrect views. Critics have expressed concern that Musk’s reign could mean an open season for hate speech and misinformation.
Musk, who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist,” has criticized Twitter’s moderation policies and objected to censorship that exceeds legal requirements. Musk announced in May that he would reinstate former US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, which had been suspended for allegedly inciting violence in the aftermath of the January 6 riots at the US Capitol.
Musk has also expressed dissatisfaction with the platform’s reliance on advertising and is widely expected to oversee significant job cuts at the company, though he reportedly denied a Washington Post report that he intends to slash 75% of the workforce.
Musk, who earlier changed his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit,” denied any intention of turning Twitter into a “free-for-all hellscape” in a lengthy message posted on Twitter before the purchase deadline on Friday.
“The reason I acquired Twitter is that it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” he said.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone thanked Mr. Parag Agrawal, Mr. Segal, and Ms. Gadde for their “collective contribution” to the company.
— Biz Stone (@biz) October 28, 2022
Musk, who has positioned himself as a moderate, frequently weighs in on politics and has drawn criticism for unconventional proposals for dealing with geopolitical flashpoints ranging from Taiwan to Ukraine.
Earlier this year, the billionaire stated that he would vote Republican in upcoming elections because Democrats had become the “party of division and hatred,” but later stated that he supported moderate candidates from both parties.