- Musk says ‘bird free’ after $44 billion deal
- Musk fires Twitter CEO, CFO, and policy chief
- Some Twitter users flag a request to walk away
- Survey shows employees’ job concerns
- EU warns: “This bird will fly by our rules”
NEW YORK, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Elon Musk takes ownership of Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N) With relentless efficiency, he fires top executives but provides little clarity on how to achieve the ambitions he has outlined for the influential social media platform.
After closing the $44 billion acquisition on Thursday, he tweeted, “Bird has been released,” citing Twitter’s bird logo, citing the company’s desire to see it have fewer limits on the content that can be posted.
CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) And the absolutist, who defines himself as freedom of expression, also said that he wants to prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber for hatred and division.
Other goals are to “beat” Twitter spam bots and make public the algorithms that determine how content is served to its users.
However, Musk did not elaborate on how he will achieve all this and who will run the company. He said he plans to cut jobs and worries Twitter’s 7,500 employees about their futures. He also said on Thursday that he bought Twitter not to make more money, but “to try to help the humanity I love.”
Less than 10% of the 266 Twitter employees surveyed on messaging app Blind still expect to be back at work within three months. Blind allows employees to post their complaints anonymously after signing up for corporate emails.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Musk fired Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and head of legal affairs and policy Vijaya Gadde. He accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors about the number of fake accounts on the platform.
Agrawal and Segal were at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters and escorted when the deal closed, sources said.
Musk, who also runs rocket company SpaceX, is familiar with the matter and plans to become Twitter’s interim CEO, according to an earlier Reuters report. Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter, said that Musk also plans to lift permanent bans on users.
Twitter, Musk and executives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Musk before closing the deal Walked to the center of Twitter He tweeted Wednesday with a big grin and a porcelain sink, then “let it sink in”. Twitter changed profile description to “Chief Twit”.
Musk says he will do it in May Undo Twitter ban Donald Trump, whose account was deleted after the attack on the US Capital. A representative of Trump did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, but the former US president previously said he would not return to the platform and instead launched his own social media app, Truth Social.
Musk tried to allay fears of the Twitter employee that massive layoffs were coming, reassuring advertisers that his past criticism of Twitter’s content moderation rules wouldn’t hurt its appeal.
“Twitter, frankly, can’t be a public view of hell where everything can be said without any conclusions!” Musk bluntly said letter to advertisers Thursday.
As news of the deal spread, some Twitter users indicated that they wanted to walk away immediately.
“If Musk acts the way we all expect him to do, I’ll be happy to leave in a heartbeat,” said one user with the @mustlovedogsxo account.
European regulators also echoed past warnings under Musk’s leadership that Twitter must comply with the region’s Digital Services Act, which imposes heavy fines on companies if they don’t control illegal content.
“In Europe the bird will fly according to our EU rules,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton said on Twitter on Friday morning.
European Parliament MP and civil rights activist Patrick Breyer suggested that people seek alternatives where privacy is a priority.
“Twitter knows our personalities dangerously well because it spies on our every click. Now this information will fall into Musk’s hands.”
Musk stated that he sees Twitter as a basis for building “the one”.great app“It offers everything from money transfers to shopping to pickups.
But Twitter is struggling to engage with its most active users, which is vital to the business. These “heavy tweeters” make up less than 10% of total monthly users but account for 90% of all tweets and half of global revenue.
Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter said Musk will face the challenge of generating revenue “given that the seemingly controversial views he wants to release more are often distasteful for advertisers.”
The road to the realization of the deal was full of twists and turns that cast doubt on whether it would ever happen. It started on April 4, with Musk announcing his 9.2% stake on Twitter, becoming the company’s largest shareholder.
The richest person in the world later agreed to join Twitter’s board of directors, but gave up at the last minute and offered to buy the company for $54.20 per share.
Over the course of just one weekend in late April, the two sides reached an agreement without any due diligence on Musk’s company’s confidential information.
In the weeks that followed, Musk had second thoughts. He publicly complained to Twitter spam accounts and his lawyers later accused Twitter of failing to comply with requests for information on the matter.
The bitterness resulted in Musk telling Twitter on July 8 that he was ending the deal. Four days later, Twitter filed a lawsuit to force Musk to complete the purchase.
By then, the stock market had fallen amid concerns of a potential recession. Twitter blamed Musk expressed the buyer’s regret, arguing that he wanted to withdraw from the deal because he thought he had overpaid. Most legal analysts thought Twitter would likely win in court.
On October 4, Musk made another U-turn and complete the deal as promised. He managed to do this just a day before the deadline to avoid going to court.
Twitter shares ended trading at $53.86, up 0.3% on Thursday, just below the agreed price. The stock will be delisted on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
reporting by Sheila Dang and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Additional reporting by Mathieu Rosemain in Paris, Foo Yun Chee in Brussels, Tanvi Mehta in New Delhi and Miyoung Kim in Singapore, Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm and Anirban Sen in New York; Editing Nick Zieminski, Edwina Gibbs, Matt Scuffham, Elaine Hardcastle
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