By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Elon Musk has finally completed his $44 billion Twitter takeover deal, and immediately sacked the company’s top executives, bringing to an end protracted ending legal battle with its board of directors just before a key deadline, multiple sources have reported.
Musk who took over the social media giant late Thursday, fired the Chief Executive Officer, Parag Agrawal and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, without immediately announcing their replacements.
Agrawal and Segal were in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and were escorted out, sources said.
Musk had accused them of “misleading” him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the social media platform.
Musk also fired Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top legal and policy executive, and Sean Edgett, general counsel, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Musk accused Gadde of blocking links to the New York Post’s coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop. She was said to have also made the decision to permanently ban then US President, Donald Trump from the site, according to Axios.
Reps for Musk and Twitter officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Musk, who also owns SpaceX, took to Twitter shortly after news of the deal broke to post images of his Falcon rocket launch.
The mogul is expected to hold a companywide town hall meeting at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters Friday.
The agreement between Musk’s legal team and Twitter’s board was reached a day before the 5 p.m. Friday deadline imposed by Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen McCormick.
Without a deal, Musk and Twitter would have clashed on opposite sides of a November trial.
Under the terms of the deal, Musk will buy Twitter at the originally-agreed price of $54.20 per share. Musk has vowed to take the company private and reshape the platform with an emphasis on free speech.
Musk signaled throughout the week that he intended to finalize the takeover deal.
The eccentric billionaire changed his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit” and posted a video of himself barging into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters carrying a sink.
Musk’s involvement has renewed fears from Twitter employees who fear he will enact sweeping layoffs and other cost-cutting measures while reshaping the company’s business.
The Tesla boss took steps to assure skeptics. During his office visit, Musk said he had no intention of slashing 75% of Twitter’s workforce upon taking control.
Musk also posted a lengthy message to Twitter’s advertisers, writing that he had no intention of turning the social media platform into a “free-for-all hellscape.” Critics had suggested that Musk’s aggressive stance on free speech would enable extremism voices to thrive on the platform.
“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 said.
Musk’s co-investors, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, are contributing $7.1 billion toward the deal. Banks including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are covering $13 billion in debt financing.