Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, took control of the social network Twitter on Thursday after concluding his purchase of 44,000 million dollars, news agency AFP reported.
After a few months of back and forth, the world’s richest man fired with immediate effect the company’s chief executive, Parag Agrawal, and two other top executives — chief financial officer, Ned Segal, and chief policy and legal officer, Vijaya Gadde.
Agrawal and Segal were at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco when the deal was finalized and was escorted out, the sources added. Musk had until Friday to close the purchase of the social network, otherwise, a trial would have been held in November.
Musk had until Friday to close the purchase of the social network, otherwise, a trial would have been held in November. The deal had been going on since it launched a $44 billion takeover offer in late April, which Twitter reluctantly accepted.
The billionaire then tried to unilaterally reverse the deal in early July, accusing the company of lying to him, but the social network’s board of directors took the matter to court.
In addition, the New York Stock Exchange, the stock exchange where Twitter is listed, indicated that the platform would be suspended from trading on Friday before the opening of the session.
Future of civilization
Musk tried to reassure advertisers by saying on Thursday that he wants to allow the expression of all opinions on the social network, without turning it into a “hellish” platform where everything will be allowed.
“It is important for the future of civilization to have a public space online where a wide variety of opinions can be discussed in a healthy way, without resorting to violence,” he wrote in a message to brands, which bring in most of the revenue from Twitter.
A self-described champion of free speech, he has indicated that he plans to relax content moderation, fueling fears of increased abuse and misinformation on the platform.
He opened, among other things, the door to a return of the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, vetoed after the assault on the Capitol by his supporters in 2021.
A position that causes rejection among certain advertisers who usually prefer to see their ads associated with moderate content.
In his message, Musk stated that he is not looking to “make money” from this purchase but rather “try to help humanity.” “In addition to respecting the law, our platform must be welcoming to everyone,” he said.
In commercial terms, the businessman maintains that it is essential that the company shows advertisements that correspond to the “needs” of Internet users.
Musk also wants to strengthen the fight against spam and made cryptic references to “X”, his vision of a global application that includes messaging, social networks, and financial services … as WeChat does in China.
Following the purchase, “the culture of the company could change profoundly and rapidly,” said Adam Badawi, a law professor at UC Berkeley.
According to a Washington Post article last week, Musk told investors he expected to eventually lay off 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees. “That was a blow to a lot of people,” one of the employees told AFP on condition of anonymity.
According to internal company figures, more than 700 employees have already left the Californian group since June. “They are rather voluntary exits, either for ethical reasons or for purely financial reasons. Because an unlisted company is less interesting,” he said, referring to Musk’s interest in taking Twitter out of the stock market.
The billionaire declared earlier this month that it is “essential” that another of his companies, Tesla, be listed on Wall Street, “because if the public doesn’t like what Tesla does, the public can buy shares and vote differently.”
“It’s very important that I can’t just do what I want,” he added with a laugh.
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