Elon Musk’s Twitter possession begins with layoffs and uncertainty By Reuters

© Reuters. The Twitter brand and a photograph of Elon Musk are proven by way of a magnifying glass on this illustration taken October 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Corrects typo in title)

By Sheila Dang and Greg Roumeliotis

(Reuters) – Elon Musk has change into Twitter Inc. The brand new proprietor of (NYSE:) on Thursday fired senior executives he accused of deceptive him and offered little readability on how he’ll obtain the lofty ambitions he has set for the platform. – influential type of social media.

The CEO of electrical automobile maker Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc stated he desires to “defeat” spambots on Twitter, make public the algorithms that decide how content material is offered to its customers, and stop the platform from change into an echo chamber for hatred and division, even because it limits censorship.

Nonetheless, Musk didn’t give particulars on how he’ll obtain all of this and who will run the corporate. He stated he deliberate to chop jobs, leaving Twitter’s roughly 7,500 workers to fret about their future. He additionally stated on Thursday that he did not purchase Twitter to make more cash however “to attempt to assist humanity, which I really like.”

Musk fired Twitter chief govt Parag Agrawal, chief monetary officer Ned Segal and chief authorized and coverage officer Vijaya Gadde, in keeping with individuals accustomed to the matter. He had accused them of deceptive him and Twitter buyers concerning the variety of pretend accounts on the social media platform.

Agrawal and Segal had been at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco when the deal was struck and had been being escorted out, the sources added.

Twitter, Musk and executives didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The $44 billion acquisition is the end result of a exceptional saga stuffed with twists and turns that solid doubt on Musk’s completion of the deal. It began on April 4, when Musk disclosed a 9.2% stake within the San Francisco firm, making him its largest shareholder.

The world’s richest individual then agreed to affix Twitter’s board, solely to balk on the final minute and provide to purchase the corporate as a substitute for $54.20 a share, a suggestion Twitter did not learn about. not if it needs to be interpreted as one other of Musk’s hashish jokes.

Musk’s provide was actual, and over a single weekend later in April, the 2 sides reached an settlement on the worth he had advised. This occurred with out Musk performing due diligence on confidential firm data, as is customary in an acquisition.

Within the weeks that adopted, Musk had second ideas. He complained publicly that he believed Twitter’s spam counts had been considerably increased than Twitter’s estimate, printed in regulatory filings, of lower than 5% of its monetizable day by day lively customers. His legal professionals then accused Twitter of not complying along with his requests for data on the topic.

The acrimony led Musk to inform Twitter on July 8 that he was terminating their settlement on the grounds that Twitter misled him concerning the bots and did not cooperate with him. 4 days later, Twitter sued Musk in Delaware, the place the corporate is included, to pressure him into the deal.

By then, shares of social media firms and the broader inventory market had plunged on fears that rate of interest hikes by the Federal Reserve, because it seeks to battle inflation, might push the US economic system into recession. Twitter accused Musk of purchaser’s regret, arguing that he needed out of the deal as a result of he thought he paid an excessive amount of.

Most authorized analysts stated Twitter had the strongest case and would doubtless prevail in courtroom. Their view hasn’t modified even after former Twitter safety chief Peiter Zatko got here ahead as a whistleblower in August to allege the corporate did not disclose the weaknesses in its safety and information confidentiality.

On Oct. 4, when Musk was because of be deposed by Twitter attorneys earlier than their trial started later that month, he made one other U-turn and supplied to finish the deal as promised. The Delaware choose gave him an October 28 deadline to shut the deal and keep away from trial.


Since then, Musk has indulged within the hype. He walked into Twitter headquarters on Wednesday with an enormous smile and sporting a porcelain sink, then tweeting “let it movement.” He modified his description in his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit”.

He additionally tried to allay worker fears about main layoffs coming and guaranteed advertisers that his previous criticism of Twitter’s content material moderation guidelines would not damage his attraction.

“Twitter clearly can’t change into a free-for-all hellscape, the place something will be stated with out penalties!” Musk stated Thursday in an open letter to advertisers.

Musk stated he sees Twitter as a basis for making a “tremendous app” that provides every thing from cash transfers to procuring and internet hosting.

“Twitter’s long-term potential, in my opinion, is an order of magnitude better than its present worth,” Musk stated throughout Tesla’s name with analysts Oct. 19.

However Twitter is struggling to interact its most lively customers who’re very important to the enterprise. These “massive tweeters” characterize lower than 10% of world month-to-month customers, however generate 90% of all tweets and half of world income.

Musk stated in Might he would reverse the ban on Donald Trump, who was faraway from workplace after the assault on the US Capitol, though former US President Donald Trump stated he wouldn’t revisit the platform. He as a substitute launched his personal social media app, Reality Social. (This story has been reclassified to appropriate a typo within the title)