Updated: Oct 28
It's official, Elon Musk owns Twitter.
The billionaire immediately exercised his authority as Twitter's new CEO, spelling disaster for the company's top executives.
It's also being reported Tesla engineers descended on Twitter's San Francisco headquarters like an avalanche Thursday with instructions to review the company's codes and algorithms.
Employees must have felt like they had been hit by a San Francisco earthquake.
Twitter's new CEO posted a message to advertisers trying to beat the flood of critics, assuring them that Twitter will not become "a free for all hellscape".
“The reason I acquired Twitter is that 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.”
Bloomberg is reporting payouts to the top 3 will amount to $100 million dollars
Don't shed any tears for the fired bosses, they made a soft landing
- Chief Executive Officer, Parag Agrawal, $50 million
- Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, $37 million
- Head of legal policy and trust Vijaya Gadde, $17 million
(these are only estimates)
Other staff members have also reportedly been fired. It has been reported at least one of the executives who was fired might have been escorted out of Twitter’s headquarters.
Keep in mind, there have been more firings than the three mentioned in this story.
Elon Musk Completes $44 Billion Deal to Own Twitter
Musk says he is a “free speech absolutist”. That statement has been interpreted in many ways, not all positively.
The world's richest man also says Twitter "aspires to become the most respected advertising platform in the world"
The purchase comes with a hefty helping of controversy
Many see Musk's vision of free speech as opening the door to toxic content, misinformation and hate speech. Those who welcome Musk's vision see the end of censorship and the return of free speech.
There is also apprehension that people banned by Twitter's former management will be reinstated, IE, former President Donald Trump.
Those happy with the "new direction" see the possible return of people exiled from the platform because of their political beliefs as a victory for free speech.
It's all very divisive. As the old saying goes "you can't please all the people all the time"
Maybe to ease the tension, Elon Musk changed his Twitter bio. He describes himself as the "Chief Twit". He also entered Twitter headquarters in San Francisco earlier this week carrying a sink, as in let it sink in?
It's unlikely his attempts to bridge the divide with humour will soften any opinions.
Questions that arose during the purchase but were never satisfactorily answered
- How many real subscribers does Twitter have,
- How many people have multiple accounts
- How many "people" are "bots"
- How many accounts are fake?
For many, that information can't come fast enough.
Twitter was bought for $54.20 a share, about $44 billion. Buying all the shares allows the 51-year-old billionaire to take Twitter private. That means the company does not have the same obligation to publicly share financial information and changes can be made without answering to shareholders.
Musk has promised to reveal Twitter's content moderation policies. He also wants to make the algorithms used to determine how and what content is promoted more transparent.
When Musk first announced he wanted to buy Twitter he said “Twitter has tremendous potential"
Musk also acknowledges the possibility of failure. "recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility".