Elon Musk closes Twitter acquisition, kicks off day one by firing CEO and CFO

Elon Musk Twitter account
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Elon Musk is reportedly now the new owner of Twitter.
  • The Tesla CEO has apparently marked the culmination of his acquisition by firing top executives.
  • CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, chief policy officer Vijaya Gadde, and general counsel Sean Edgett were apparently among the top brass who were fired.

Twitter is now officially owned by Elon Musk as he wraps up his $44 billion acquisition of the social media giant, according to reports. Musk reportedly culminated his takeover bid by terminating a number of top executives at the company, including CEO Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal.

According to Reuters, Agrawal and Segal were escorted out of Twitter's San Francisco headquarters when the deal was closed. Policy chief Vijaya Gadde and general counsel Sean Edgett were also reportedly fired (via Axios). Musk publicly chastised Twitter's executives for deceiving him about the number of fake accounts and spam bots on the platform, which caused the deal to be put on hold in May.

The top executives were said to have left the company Thursday evening. Business Insider reports that each has received a handsome paycheck: Agrawal was paid $38.7 million, Segal received $25.4 million, Gadde got $12.5 million, and Personette received $11.2 million.

Musk's contentious takeover bid raised questions about whether he would pursue the transaction. He backed out of the agreement in July after Twitter allegedly failed to disclose accurate data on the number of spam or bot accounts on the platform. 

Twitter then sued Musk for violating the agreement, claiming that his actions had "cast a pall over Twitter and its business." However, before the two parties went to trial, Musk's legal team issued a letter a few days ago indicating that he intended to proceed with the deal, a surprising U-turn for Musk, who wasn't happy with how Twitter disclosed information about bots on the platform.

The completion of the deal has reportedly concerned many Twitter employees, as Musk was rumored to be planning to lay off 75% of Twitter's workforce. Android Central has contacted Twitter for comment and will update this article once we receive a response.

In the past, Musk publicly shared his plans for Twitter once the deal was completed. Among his goals was to change how the service moderates content shared on the platform, which is seen as a reversal of policies that resulted in former President Donald Trump's permanent ban. "The bird is freed," Musk tweeted in reference to Twitter's logo, suggesting that he intends to relax the company's restrictions.

"In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules," Thierry Breton, commissioner for Internal Market of the European Union, tweeted in response to Musk's tweet.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder has spoken publicly about his Twitter goals. According to Reuters, he wants to prevent Twitter from becoming an echo chamber for hate and division in addition to crushing spam bots. Musk also wants to give the public access to the algorithms that govern how the platform recommends content to its users. However, little is known about how he intends to achieve them.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.