(Natural News) Billionaire Elon Musk moved quickly to exert control over Twitter after taking over the social media giant late last week.
No sooner than Musk walked in the door of the company’s San Francisco headquarters than he fired four top executives, including the one responsible for booting then-President Donald Trump off the platform and shadow-banning conservatives.
Mr. Musk fired Chief Executive Parag Agrawal and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal after the deal closed, the people said. Spokespeople for Twitter didn’t comment.
It wasn’t immediately clear who would step into those top positions. CNBC previously reported the firings.
Mr. Musk also fired Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top legal and policy executive, and Sean Edgett, general counsel.
Earlier, Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and the Starlink satellite internet service, posted a video on Twitter of him entering the company’s HQ holding a sink and noting: “Entering Twitter HQ – Let that sink in!”
Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
In addition, Musk changed his Twitter bio to read “Chief Twit.” Later, he tweeted, “Meeting a lot of cool people at Twitter today.”
To remind readers, after having been with Twitter since 2011, Gadde was the top executive in charge of “trust and safety, legal and public policy functions” – described by Politico as the company’s “moral authority”:
Gadde holds one of the most controversial positions at Twitter: Her teams decide how to moderate content. That’s made her a target of right-wing criticism, particularly when Twitter blocked the distribution of a New York Post article about President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in 2020. She faced a renewed wave of criticism after multiple reports confirmed she was behind the decision to ban Trump from Twitter.
It was she who was likely the executive who agreed to banning several other media outlets and figures because they refused to tow the ‘official’ lines regarding the COVID-19 vaccines and pandemic, as well as Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
In all seriousness, imagine being such an arrogant, incompetent, entitled litttle wokester that your pissy texts provoked the richest man on earth to buy your employer just so he could fire you in his first act as owner. pic.twitter.com/NjpCOB9gbM
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 28, 2022
That said, it’s not as though these executives are going away penniless:
- Agrawal is set to receive the largest payout of $38.7 million, due largely to the entirety of his shares vesting upon his firing.
- Segal is set to receive a $25.4 million payout for getting fired.
- Gadde will leave with $12.5 million.
Musk is prepared to make other major changes to the workforce at Twitter when he officially owns the company.
For instance, he plans to cut the workforce by “nearly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500 workers, whittling the company down to a skeleton staff of just over 2,000, the Washington Post reported. But even if Musk does not complete his purchase of Twitter the report said that the current owners plan to cut the workforce by 25 percent:
The extent of the cuts, which have not been previously reported, helps explain why Twitter officials were eager to sell to Musk: Musk’s $44 billion bid, though hostile, is a golden ticket for the struggling company — potentially helping its leadership avoid painful announcements that would have demoralized the staff and possibly crippled the service’s ability to combat misinformation, hate speech and spam.
The impact of such layoffs would likely be immediately felt by millions of users, said Edwin Chen, a data scientist formerly in charge of Twitter’s spam and health metrics and now CEO of the content-moderation start-up Surge AI. He said that while he believed Twitter was overstaffed, the cuts Musk proposed were “unimaginable” and would put Twitter’s users at risk of hacks and exposure to offensive material such as child pornography.
A new dawn is coming in social media, and it’s glorious.