Elon Musk Twitter deal closes Thursday night

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SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter late Thursday when his $44 billion deal to acquire the company closed.

As one of his first moves, he fired several top Twitter executives, according to three people familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters. One of them confirmed that the deal was closed.

CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, chief of legal policy, trust and security, were all fired, according to the people. Sean Edgett, the company’s general counsel, was also pushed out, one of the people said. The top executives were rushed out of the building, people said.

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Musk’s moves late on Thursday indicate he plans to make his mark on one of the world’s most influential social media companies. Musk has publicly criticized Twitter’s outgoing management over product decisions and content moderation, also saying he would reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account.

Still: “Twitter can’t become a free hell, where everything can be said without consequences!” Musk tweeted Thursday.

The deal’s closing capped off a months-long roller coaster saga in which the billionaire — the world’s richest man — staged a hostile takeover to buy the company at too high a price, only to break the deal and then face a bitter legal battle. with the social network.

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But in recent days, Musk seemed resigned and even excited about his impending property. According to a photo he posted to his more than 100 million Twitter followers, he unexpectedly showed up at the company’s offices on Wednesday, carrying a sink to suggest that the message he would become owner should “galvanize”.

He plans to hold a company-wide town hall on Friday.

Neither Twitter nor the executives immediately responded to a request for comment.

The moves put the heralded entrepreneur at the helm of one of the world’s most powerful communications platforms just days before the big elections in the US and Brazil.

Musk, a transportation mogul who is also CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has offered some clues as to what he would do if he took over Twitter — despite having no experience running a social media service.

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He has suggested that he wants to relax standards for monitoring harmful content such as misinformation and hate speech. He has also denounced so-called censorship by social media companies.

He has repeatedly criticized the company and supported online attacks against individual directors. He has told potential investors and partners that he wants to bring about a financial turnaround for the company by: almost 75 percent shooting of the workforce and taking advantage of new business opportunities, including people subscribing to exclusive content from popular influencers on the service.

Musk represents a different kind of social media company owner than his predecessor, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, or his now rival Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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Over the course of his Twitter opportunity, he sometimes called himself a moderate, but also announced plans to vote for a Republican president in 2024. He has also weighed in on geopolitical conflicts between China and Taiwan and on the war in Ukraine.

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