Elon Musk completes Twitter takeover, fires CEO Parag Aggarwal

More lay-offs ahead!
Ameya Paleja
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Twitter logo


Elon Musk, the world's richest person, has completed his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform, Twitter, the BBC has reported.

Musk had put the deal on hold after his initial offer earlier this year. Later he backed out citing a high number of fake or spam accounts on the platform, a point that then-CEO Aggarwal had publicly denied.

Musk was dragged to court by Twitter's lawyers to enforce the deal and avoided a court trial by agreeing to buy out Twitter again. The court had given the two parties time till the month's end to iron out a deal.

Twitter's top brass faces the axe first

One would have thought that the move finalized today would bring an end to the Twitter saga that has been going on for months. Musk, however, added more drama to the mix since he has fired CEO Parag Aggarwal, finance executive Ned Segal and legal and policy executive Vijaya Gadde, reports suggest.

Aggarwal and Segal were in the San Francisco headquarters of the company when the deal closed and were escorted out, media reports said.

Biz Stone, a Twitter co-founder, thanked the executives for their contributions to the social media company in a tweet.

Sean Edgett, who was legal counsel at Twitter for nearly a decade, was also shown the door.

Musk's arrival is also expected to see a huge layoff at Twitter, where about 5,000 people could be left without jobs. However, the top brass will stand to gain tremendously from Musk firing them.

According to Business Insider, the “change of control” provisions in the contracts of Twitter’s top leadership, allow them to receive a certain amount of severance and automatic acceleration of their shares.

Aggarwal, who was likely the first to be fired by Musk, stands to gain the most as his shares are vested upon his firing. He could end up getting $38.7 million after losing his job. Segal is expected to be next largest benefactor receiving $25.4 million payout, while Gadde would get about $12.5 million for being fired by Musk, the report said.

Changes at Twitter

With Aggarwal out of the picture, the post of CEO was vacant, which Musk has handsomely occupied. Musk's description on his Twitter bio also says Chief Twit now, further confirming this change. It remains to be seen if Musk will be a placeholder CEO or will occupy the position for long to bring about the changes he has planned but not detailed before.

Following the buyout, Musk is likely to do away with the social media company’s policy of permanent bans. This could effectively mean the return of those who have been kicked off the platform and that could possibly include ex-President Donald Trump.

Musk’s insistence on “free speech” could see Twitter loosen its content moderation standards and undo the social media company’s efforts to reduce bullying on its platform, Bloomberg said in its report.

Musk’s plans also include doubling Twitter’s revenues in three years and a heavy staff layoff could be part of the plan to reduce expenses. Now that the deal is closed, it is time for Musk to reveal his actual plan. The now Twitter CEO will address employees at his newly acquired company on Friday which could give us a glimpse of what to expect in the near future.

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