After months of twists and turns, the saga is over. Elon Musk, the head of Tesla and SpaceX, has announced that they have completed the acquisition of Twitter, Thursday 27 October for 44 billion “The bird is free,” he tweeted, referring to Twitter’s nickname – the blue bird.
He said earlier today that he was buying Twitter to “help humanity” and allow all opinions to be expressed freely on the social network.
The richest man in the world has immediately fired boss Parag Agrawal and two other managerschief financial officer Ned Segal and head of legal affairs Vijaya Gadde, according to unnamed sources from washington post.
Elon Musk had until Friday to complete the takeover of the social network, otherwise a trial would have taken place in November. The operation has dragged on since its announcement at the end of April of a takeover offer of 44 billion dollars, reluctantly accepted by Twitter. The entrepreneur sought to unilaterally get out of it in early July, accusing the company of lying to him, but the company’s board of directors took the case. Finally, a few days before the opening of a lawsuit that Twitter seemed to win, Elon Musk offered to close the transaction at the originally agreed price.
The signs that the operation should take place within the time allowed by justice were multiplied this week. The richest man in the world notably visited Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday and renamed himself “Chief Twit” on his profile – “twit” means “idiot” in English. And the New York Stock Exchange, where Twitter is listed, said the company’s stock would be suspended before the opening of trading on Friday.
Musk doesn’t want to make it a “hell” platform
On Thursday, Elon Musk tried to reassure advertisers by saying he would allow all opinions to be expressed on the social network, without making it an “infernal” platform where everything would be allowed. It’s “vital to the future of civilization to have an online public space where a wide range of opinions can debate in a healthy way without resorting to violence,” he wrote in a message that specifically addressed brands that bring the bulk of Twitter’s revenue.
The entrepreneur presents himself as an ardent defender of freedom of expression and has already indicated that he intends to facilitate content moderation, rekindling concerns about a possible resurgence of abuse and misinformation on the platform. He opened the door, for example, to a return of Donald Trump, who was kicked out of Twitter shortly after the attack on the Capitol in January 2021. What deterred advertisers, who generally prefer to support their ads with consent.
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 watch on the network “according to their preferences, in the same way as, for example, you can watch movies or play video games for all ages,” he clarified.
Three quarters of employees dismissed?
Elon Musk will too strengthen the fight against spam. He also made cryptic allusions to “X,” his vision of an all-purpose application (messaging, social networking, financial services, etc.) like WeChat in China. “Corporate culture is likely to change profoundly and rapidly,” said Adam Badawi, a law professor at the University of Berkeley.
According to an article from washington post last week, the businessman told investors that he eventually intended to do so laying off nearly 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees. “It screwed up a lot of people,” notes one employee, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.
He calculated from internal figures that more than 700 employees had already left the Californian group since June. “These are quite voluntary departures, either for ethical reasons or for basic financial reasons, because an unlisted company is less interesting,” he believes. The manager has planned to take Twitter out of the stock market.
However, earlier this month he told a conference that it was “essential” that Tesla go public 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 what I want”he added, amused.