Elon Musk completed the $44 billion acquisition of the micro-blogging site Twitter on Thursday evening, reports said. In his first order of business, Musk sacked chief executive Parag Agrawal, as well as the company’s chief financial officer and its head of safety.
After reports surfaced on the completion of the deal, the tech industrialist seemed to confirm the news in a cryptic tweet — ‘the bird is freed’.
A report by Insider quoted sources as saying that Twitter and Musk formally closed on the billionaire’s offer to take the company private on Thursday evening by paying $54.20 per share, or approximately $44 billion.
Musk reversed his position on the offer in October, after months of attempting to back out of the deal. The same evening, Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal, the sources said. Vijaya Gadde, the chief legal officer, has also resigned.
Hours before the takeover, Musk had issued a ‘reassuring’ message to Twitter advertisers emphasising that the site could not become a ‘free-for-all hellscape’ where anything could be said with no consequences.
“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 in the message. “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far-right wing and far left-wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society,” he had said.
Musk has been at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters this week, meeting with employees and having impromptu conversations with them in the cafe, according to the Insider report. On Wednesday, he entered the building carrying a large bathroom sink, a nod to it “sinking in" that he was Twitter’s new CEO. On Friday, an all-hands meeting with employees is scheduled.
According to University of Michigan business law professor Erik Gordon, the new agreement will end Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk over the $44 billion purchase after Twitter files for the case to be dismissed in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Musk has also updated his Twitter description to “Chief Twit.”
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