October 31, 2022
Elon Musk paid a visit to Twitter’s headquarters on Wednesday, October 26, ahead of an end-of-week deadline to close his deal to buy the company—posting a video of himself in the company’s San Francisco lobby carrying a sink, reports The Guardian.
“Entering Twitter HQ—let that sink in!” he tweeted. Musk also changed his Twitter profile to refer to himself as “Chief Twit” and his location as Twitter headquarters.
The new CEO didn’t waste any time taking charge—firing several Twitter executives after completing his takeover of the company, according to people familiar with the matter. Vijaya Gadde, the woman behind former President Donald Trump’s Twitter suspension, was among the first to go.
Indeed, according to The Wall Street Journal, in a message to advertisers on Twitter on Thursday, October 27, Musk said he was buying the company to “have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.” He said Twitter “cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”
A self-described free-speech absolutist, Musk has pledged to limit content moderation in favor of emphasizing free speech. However, that approach risks causing conflicts with some advertisers, politicians, and users who would prefer a more-moderated platform.
Musk said the platform must be “warm and welcoming to all” and suggested Twitter could let people “choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play videogames ranging from all ages to mature.”
Musk also fired Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and Sean Edgett, general counsel. Spokespersons for Twitter didn’t comment.
Hours after those actions, Musk tweeted “the bird is freed” in a seeming reference to Twitter, which has a blue bird as its logo. A Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday, October 28, confirmed the deal closed Thursday, and that Twitter is now part of Musk’s X Holdings, reports The Wall Street Journal.
He previously indicated unhappiness with some of the top ranks at Twitter, at one point responding to a tweet from Agrawal with a poop emoji. He also used the site to mock Gadde, the top legal boss—tweeting an image overlaid with text that repeated allegations Twitter had a left-wing political bias.
It wasn’t immediately clear who would step into the top positions left vacant by Thursday’s exits. CNBC earlier reported the departures of Agrawal and Segal.
The deal, in which Twitter will again become a private company, adds to Musk’s expansive business reach, which includes running Tesla, the world’s most-valuable car company; and rocket company SpaceX, among other endeavors.
Musk, who has become Twitter’s largest individual shareholder, previously said he would pay for the acquisition mostly with cash, some contributed by co-investors, and $13 billion in debt.
Research contact: @guardian