Elon Musk has formally taken ownership of Twitter, immediately firing Parag Agrawal, who had succeeded co-founder Jack Dorsey as Twitter chief executive officer (CEO).
Following the US$44 billion acquisition on Thursday, Musk tweeted “The Bird is freed”, suggesting that the platform will now have fewer limits on content, which is what Musk has imagined for some time now. However, he did add that he wants to prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber for hate and division, Reuters reported.
Musk also fired chief financial officer Ned Segal, Vijaya Gadde, the company’s policy chief, Sean Edgett, the general counsel, and chief customer officer Sarah Personette.
According to The Verge, the execs received significant payouts: Agrawal got US$38.7 million, Segal was given US$25.4 million, Gadde received US$12.5 million, and Personette, who tweeted yesterday about how excited she was for Musk’s takeover, got US$11.2 million.
When it comes to revamping the platform, Musk said he wants to “defeat” spam bots on Twitter, and to make the algorithms that determine how content is presented to its users publicly available. However, the Tesla CEO has offered little detail on how he will achieve all this, or who will run the company. He has said he plans to cut jobs.
Musk also said that he did not buy Twitter to make more money, but “to try to help humanity, whom I love.” But he has reportedly raised ideas for cost-cutting and increasing revenue. Governments and corporations could be charged a minimal amount to use the platform, and there could be job cuts on the table to improve the company’s bottom line.
Some of Twitter’s current employees have criticized Musk’s plans for the platform as “incoherent” and lacking in detail.
Musk is expected to share more about his plans for Twitter with employees on Friday.
According to a Tech Crunch report, Twitter’s stock will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange on November 8, a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed.
“The New York Stock Exchange hereby notifies the SEC of its intention to remove the entire class of the stated securities from listing and registration on the Exchange at the opening of business on November 08, 2022, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 12d2-2 (a),” the filing reads.
It also indicated that the merger between Twitter and Musk’s subsidiary X Holdings II, Inc. was officially complete. Musk’s X Holdings I, Inc. will own the entire stock of the social network.
On Monday October 31, Musk tweeted that the whole verification process on Twitter is being “revamped”. A Financial Times article revealed that Musk has ordered Twitter staff to implement a charge on users to keep their verified “blue tick”.
Users can currently pay $4.99 per month to subscribe to Twitter Blue, providing them with features such as the ability to edit tweets. However, Musk said he is looking to increase the pricing of Twitter Blue into a more expensive subscription that also verifies users. Twitter is planning to charge $19.99 for the new Twitter Blue subscription. Under the current plan, verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark.
A report from The Verge noted that employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they need to meet a deadline of November 7th to launch the feature or they will be fired.
This story will be updated.