Elon Musk has reportedly completed his takeover of Twitter after a protracted fight to not buy it in a multi-billion dollar acquisition that’ll take the social media company private.
He started his tenure by firing its top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal. Other executives fired as the deal closed included CFO Ned Segal, policy executive Vijaya Gadde, and company general counsel Sean Edgett, The New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the takeover.
Musk had made a $44 billion offer on Twitter, putting up about a third of his Tesla stake as collateral to secure funding from investment banks, in addition to billions of dollars of his own cash. As suddenly as he made the offer, he began to give excuses for why it shouldn’t happen. Perhaps he realized how much was at stake, or maybe he truly believed the muddled excuses about bots and juiced-up metrics; soon enough, Twitter took him to court to try and force him to honor the terms of his offer and follow through with buying the company.
It has to be emphasized that for months Musk blustered and threw tantrums in public about the company and the deal leading up to the trial. He abandoned the campaign after the release of text message conversations between Musk and his wealthy peers about Twitter. The texts showed that his relationship with Agrawal started amicably but became strained as the initial offer drew closer, with Musk asking Agrawal at one point, “What did you get done this week?”
You’d think this entire spectacle, one of many in Muskworld, would be the one to finally puncture the mythology of Musk’s supreme intelligence but if anything, it will likely inflate it.
In true Musk fashion, the facts have already dissipated and fallen to the wayside. He seems to be eager to forget that he fought tooth and nail to escape the deal, and dropped a short video teasing his move into Twitter HQ and changed his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit.” The next day—the morning of the deal—he sent out a tweet address to Twitter advertisers after reporting on leaked internal memos that suggested the platform was slowly dying.
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because 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,” Musk wrote. “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”
Now it’s a new era for Twitter—a platform where Musk is a heavy user and where his shitposts have gotten him into serious trouble numerous times. Now that he owns it, users are threatening to leave the platform in droves (although, as we’ve seen with Facebook over the years, mass exodus may only really happen if the service deteriorates), and Musk has already made major shakeups in its leadership.
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