SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

Musk sacks top execs on first day as Twitter boss

Musk sacks top execs on first day as Twitter boss

Elon Musk began his regime at Twitter by firing top executives for allegedly misleading him, but provided little information on how he will achieve his outlined ambitions, a Reuters report said.

The CEO of electric automaker Tesla has said he wants to “defeat” spam bots on Twitter, make algorithms that determine how content is presented publicly available and prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber for hate and division.

Without providing details on how he will achieve these ambitions and who will run the company, Musk has only said he plans to cut jobs, leaving Twitter’s approximately 7,500 employees fretting about their future.

He has said he did not buy Twitter to make more money but “to try to help humanity, whom I love”.

"Musk terminated Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde," Reuters said, citing people familiar with the matter.

"He had accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the social media platform."

Twitter, Musk and the executives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The US$44-billion acquisition is the culmination of a remarkable saga, full of twists and turns, that sowed doubt over whether Musk would complete the deal.

It began on April 4, when Musk disclosed a 9.2 per cent stake in the company, making him its largest shareholder. He then agreed to join Twitter's board, only to baulk at the last minute and offer to buy the company instead for $54.20 per share.

Over the course of just one weekend in April, Musk and Twitter reached a deal at the price he suggested.

However, Musk had second thoughts in the following weeks, complaining publicly that he believed Twitter’s spam accounts were significantly higher than the company’s estimate of less than 5 per cent of its monetizable daily active users.

The acrimony resulted in Musk giving notice to Twitter on July 8 that he was terminating their deal on grounds that Twitter misled him about the bots and did not cooperate with him.

Four days later, Twitter sued Musk in Delaware, where the company is incorporated, to force him to complete the deal. Twitter accused Musk of buyer's remorse, arguing he wanted to get out of the deal because he thought he overpaid.

However, Musk on October 4 performed another U-turn and offered to complete the deal as promised. The Delaware judge gave him an October 28 deadline to close the transaction and avoid trial.