People who know about the deal say that Elon Musk has finished buying Twitter Inc. for $44 billion. This puts the world’s richest man in charge of the struggling social network after six months of public and legal fights over the deal.
Musk’s first move was to change who was in charge. CEO Parag Agrawal, head of legal, policy, and trust Vijaya Gadde, CFO Ned Segal, who joined Twitter in 2017, and general counsel Sean Edgett, who has worked there since 2012, are all leaving, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Two people who didn’t want to be named because the information isn’t public said that Edgett was led out of the building.
Shareholders will get $54.20 for each share they own, and Twitter will now be a private company. This is the end of a long, complicated story that started in January when the billionaire quietly bought a big share of the company. He grew frustrated with how it was run and eventually signed a merger agreement that he spent months trying to get out of.
Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
On October 4, Musk agreed to move forward with the terms he had first proposed, and a Delaware Chancery Court judge gave the two sides until October 28 to finish the deal. That deadline was met, and now Musk, who is CEO of both Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, also runs Twitter, a service he often uses but openly criticizes and has promised to change in a big way. The shares of the company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Musk’s ownership of Twitter will cause problems right away, because many of his ideas for changing the company are different from how it has been run for years. He has said he wants to make sure there is “free speech” on the social network, which is likely to mean less strict rules for content moderation. He also plans to bring back some high-profile accounts that were kicked off Twitter for breaking rules, such as the account of former U.S. President Donald Trump. More generally, Musk’s plans could undo years of work by Twitter to stop bullying and abuse on the site.
‘Chief Twit’ –
Musk tried to back out of the Twitter deal soon after his unsolicited offer was accepted in April. In July, he said he was cancelling the deal because Twitter misled him about the number of fake “bot” accounts, which the company denied.
Twitter, for its part, tried to show that Musk was making up reasons to leave just because he changed his mind.
When Musk tried to back out of the deal, Twitter filed a lawsuit to make him keep his word.
With a trial coming up, the erratic billionaire gave up and brought back his plan to take over.
This week, Musk showed that the deal was still on track by changing his Twitter name to “Chief Twit” and posting a video of himself carrying a sink into the company’s headquarters in California.
“Let that sink in!” he quipped.
Musk said he was “excited” about the Twitter deal during a recent earnings call for Tesla, even though he and investors are “overpaying.”
– Twitter free-for-all? –
A worker who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely said that some employees who didn’t want to work for Musk have already quit.
“But some people, including me, are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now,” the employee said of Musk.
Activists are worried that if Musk runs Twitter, there will be more harassment and false information. Musk himself is known for trolling other Twitter users.
But Musk said he knows Twitter “cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anyone can say whatever they want and nothing bad will happen.”
Musk has promised to limit content moderation to the bare minimum. This should make it easier for former US president Donald Trump to come back to the platform.