Elon Musk Completes $44 Billion Twitter Takeover, Fires Top Executives, and Makes Himself CEO
Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter and instated himself as CEO, just hours before a court-ordered deadline to buy the business expired, according to multiple reports.
In a reference to Twitter's logo, billionaire Musk tweeted "the bird is freed," after reportedly firing several top executives, including the chief executive, Parag Agrawal. Musk earlier changed his Twitter bio to "Chief Twit."
Other senior figures ousted by Musk reportedly included Ned Segal, chief financial officer, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety.
The finalized deal caps a chaotic acquisition saga that began with Musk originally offering to buy Twitter for $44 billion in April – a deal that Twitter accepted – before Musk in May put the takeover "temporarily on hold" because of a dispute over the number of fake or spam accounts that Twitter claimed to have.
In July, Musk decided he no longer wanted to buy Twitter and attempted to call off the purchase. Twitter in turn filed a lawsuit to force Musk to go on with the sale. By October, Musk once again reversed course by proposing a purchase at the original price.
the bird is freed — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
Musk's executive firings followed news last week that the billionaire planned to slash Twitter staff numbers by 75% in an effort to pay down the company's debt burden. Musk later dismissed those reports, saying he would not cut that percentage of employees.
Attention now turns to Twitter's future direction, and how Musk's plans will affect the social media platform with more than 230 million users. "The reason I acquired Twitter is because 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 in a statement posted to his Twitter account on Thursday. Musk continued:
There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.
In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered to those polarized extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost.
That is why I bought Twitter. I didn't do it because it would be easy. I didn't do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love. And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.
That said, Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences! 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, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.
Musk ended by stating his belief that advertising, when done right, can "delight, entertain, and inform," and that Twitter aspires to be "the most respected advertising platform in the world."
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