Elon Musk took control of Twitter and fired executives

Elon Musk took over Twitter and fired executives< /p> UPDATE DAY

Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX, took control of Twitter on Thursday after completing the acquisition of the social network for 44 billion dollars, according to several articles in the American specialized press. 

After months of a twisting saga, the world's richest man immediately fired boss Parag Agrawal and two other executives, chief financial officer Ned Segal and chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, according to unnamed Washington sources. Post.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request from AFP.

Elon Musk had until Friday to complete the acquisition of the social network, otherwise a trial would have taken place in November.

The operation has been dragging on since the announcement at the end of April of a $44 billion acquisition offer, reluctantly accepted by Twitter. 

The entrepreneur has sought to get out of it unilaterally in early July, accusing the company of lying to him, but the company's board of directors took legal action.

Earlier this month, a few days before the start of a trial that Twitter looked set to win, Elon Musk eventually offered to close the deal at the price originally agreed.

The signs that the operation was going to take place within the time allowed by the justice had multiplied this week.

The richest man in the world notably went to the headquarters of Twitter in San Francisco Wednesday and renamed himself “Chief Twit” on his profile — “twit” means “moron” in English.

And the New York Stock Exchange, where Twitter is listed, said the stock of the business would be suspended on Friday before the opening of the session. 

“Future of civilization”

On Thursday, Elon Musk tried to reassure advertisers by saying that he wanted to allow all opinions to be expressed on the social network, without make it an “infernal” platform where everything would be allowed.

It is “important for the future of civilization to have an online public square where a wide variety of opinions can debate in a healthy way, without resorting to violence”, he wrote in a message specifically addressed to brands, which bring in the bulk of Twitter's revenue.

Presenting himself as an ardent defender of freedom of expression, the entrepreneur has already indicated that he intends to relax content moderation, reviving concerns about a possible resurgence of abuse and misinformation on the platform. 

It has, for example, opened the door to a return of Donald Trump, ousted from Twitter shortly after the attack on the Capitol in January 2021.

What put off advertisers, who generally prefer to back their ads with consensual content. 

In his message, Elon Musk assures that he did not initiate the takeover because it was “easy or “to make money”, but to “try to help humanity”. 

Users should be able to choose what they see on the network “according to their preferences , in the same way that you can for example see films or play video games for all ages”, he specified.

“Voluntary departures”

Elon Musk also wants to strengthen the fight against spam. He also made cryptic allusions to “X”, his vision of an all-purpose application (messaging, social network, financial services…), like WeChat in China.

“The culture of business is in danger of profound and rapid change,” underlines Adam Badawi, professor of law at the University of Berkeley.

According to an article in the Washington Post last week, the businessman told investors that he ultimately intended to lay off almost 75% of Twitter's 7,500 employees.

“It has screwed up a lot of people,” notes an employee, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

He calculated, based on internal figures, that more than 700 employees had already left the Californian group since June. “These are rather voluntary departures, either for ethical reasons or for basely financial reasons, because an unlisted company is less interesting,” he believes.

The leader has indeed planned to take Twitter out of the Stock Exchange. 

At the beginning of the month, he nevertheless declared at a conference that it was “essential” that Tesla be listed on Wall Street, “because if the public doesn't like what Tesla is doing, the public can buy shares and vote differently.”

“It's very important that I can't just do whatever I want “, he added, hilarious.