Unconfirmed sources say that Elon Musk officially took charge of Twitter ahead of an October 28, 2022, deadline set by a judge. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal joined the ranks of Twitter employees leaving the company as of October 27.
By completing the deal before October 28, Musk avoided a court battle with Twitter’s board of directors. The board of directors initially hesitated to support Musk’s planned acquisition soon after regulatory filings revealed that Musk bought enough Twitter stock to equal a 9.2% stake in the company. Rumors swirled that he planned to make an offer to take the company private, which were quickly confirmed when Elon Musk made an offer.
The board of directors and Twitter stakeholders eventually approved the deal. Musk seemed to get cold feet over it soon afterward, sparking a months-long back-and-forth between legal teams for both parties that included a lawsuit filed by Twitter. However, he reversed course again earlier this months and allowed that he would go through with the deal.
Free Speech Important, but Not Everything Goes
Twitter employees have been departing for other Big Tech companies at a rapid rate since the deal was announced. 1,100 of them left since April, with 530 of them leaving in the previous quarter. Some of it could be normal employee churn. Some of them didn’t want to work for a demanding boss like Elon Musk and, anyway, he had expressed his intention to lay off up to 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees. Some of them expressed concern that unlikeable individuals who had been banned would get their Twitter accounts back after Musk declared himself a “free speech absolutist.”
But? Despite his previously expressed support for free speech, Musk posted an open letter promising advertisers that Twitter would not become “a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”
Musk expressed concern that social media in general could devolve into a series of echo chambers. Gab.com, for instance, was accused of being a far-right echo chamber (and what I’ve seen of it does not indicate that they’re wrong). Musk planned to turn Twitter into a “town square” in which ideas could be freely (and preferably non-violently) debated.
“Crypto Twitter” going to extremes?
Musk floated the idea of integrating crypto and toyed with the idea of charging a small amount of Dogecoin per tweet, which could have amounted to a stopgap measure in his stated intention of stopping scams and spam on Twitter. In what could be a totally coincidental accident of timing, Twitter developers announced that they are working with NFT marketplaces to integrate direct buying and selling of NFTs with Tweets.
Elon Musk waltzed into Twitter’s headquarters carrying – of all things – a kitchen sink. While there, he made a stop at Twitter’s coffee bar.
The sink could be seen as Musk’s typical sense of humor, with a slight implication that he intended to do a bit of cleaning. It could also be a reference to his vaguely described “X App,” which he implied could include “everything but the kitchen sink.”
He is now officially in charge at Twitter now that the CEO and CFO are out and, by implication, the deal has closed. Twitter stock soared for the last time before what could be its final closing before its delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, ending at $53.83. (And, boy, what a roller coaster it has been since April.)