That’s it, Elon Musk owns Twitter – Liberation
“The bird was released”, Elon Musk tweeted. For better, but mostly for worse, the marriage between Twitter and Elon Musk is sealed. The announcement fell on the night of Thursday 27 to Friday 28 October. After seven months of “I love you, me neither”, of “follow me, I flee you” and vice versa, the billionaire bought the social network, which counts 229 million active users per day. Operating cost: 44 billion dollars (44 billion euros).
Following the announcement, the new boss immediately fired chief executive Parag Agrawal and two other executives, chief financial officer Ned Segal and chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, according to unnamed sources from CNBC and the Washington post.
To end the saga, the Tesla boss, known for his troll skills, was able to manage his impact on the announcement. In a statement posted on his Twitter account, which is followed by 110 million subscribers, he told advertisers on Thursday to buy the network because it “It is important for the future of civilization to have an online public square where different types of opinion can debate in a healthy way, without resorting to violence”. Rather fitting for one who, a few weeks ago, proposed a far-reaching diplomatic solution to end the war in Ukraine.
This Wednesday, he also shared a cryptic video. A sink in his arms, he entered Twitter’s premises in San Francisco, a broad smile on his lips. “Entering Twitter HQ – let it fall!” he wrote in the description. A pun on the double meaning of the word sink (“submerged” but also “submerged”, “submerged”) youtranslated by: “Entering Twitter’s headquarters – absorbing information”. Although no official announcement was made, his profile description was also changed. A sensible and direct one “Chief Twit” sitting there now, “Twit” also means “stupid”.
And alliances are made a lot. Because the two newlyweds almost broke up before the wedding night. Delaware’s Court of Chancellery actually imposed a deadline of Friday, October 28 for the takeover to be finalized. Without this agreement, Twitter and Musk had to separate themselves in court, which specializes in dispute resolution, since November.
The wind vane method
The reason: after making, at the end of April, a takeover offer of 44 billion dollars, reluctantly accepted by Twitter, the entrepreneur was withdrawn. Elon Musk then accused the bluebird company of lying to him about the number of profitable users, thus rendering the agreement null and void. Suspecting the SpaceX founder wanted to avoid a purchase that had become too expensive for him, the company’s board of directors filed a complaint.
Estimated 224 billion dollars of the magazine Forbes, Elon Musk’s fortunes have really been jostled lately by the volatile stock prices of Tesla and SpaceX. To complete its financing, it took out $13 billion in bank loans backed by Twitter and called on investment funds.
In addition, the mega legal battle, which was originally supposed to start on October 17, seems to have given the company a clear advantage. However, ten days before entering the ring, the multi-billionaire ran another about-face. After liking it, not liking it, he likes the platform again and says he is ready to complete the transaction at the price originally promised. For its part, the social network shared its intention to complete the transaction at 54.20 dollars per share (the price was agreed upon in April).
After Parag Agrawal
His new toy is in his pocket, what will Elon Musk do? According to his first declarations in April, the libertarian entrepreneur wants to make the network platform a “absolute freedom of expression”. The multi-billionaire wants to relax moderation rules. A position praised by the American conservative right, defended by Donald Trump, with his Truth Social network, or rapper Kanye West, in the process of buying the Parler platform.
“That said, Twitter clearly cannot be a hellish place where anything can be said without consequence.”, however, Tesla’s CEO qualified in a message addressed to advertisers, on the eve of the deadline for closing the operation. Recently, he also said that profitability is not his priority, that he better fight spam and make cryptic allusions to “X”, his vision of an application to do everything (message, social network , financial services , etc.), such as WeChat in China.
In one of his announcements, Elon Musk also confirmed that he wants to remove Twitter from the stock market. A proposal that, if followed, would allow the company to more easily escape any external control. Rather helpful for its new owner who now has a lot of new power. The wealthy fifty-year-old has the freedom to immediately replace the members of the board of directors as well as the management of the group.
75% of employees were made redundant
And the current CEO likely won’t be the only one leaving. Elon Musk has reportedly told investors that he eventually intends to lay off about 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, according to information published last week by Washington post. “It ruined a lot of people”said a Twitter employee, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.
According to the latter, more than 700 employees have left the group since June. “These are voluntary departures, either for ethical reasons or for less financial reasons, because an unlisted company is less interesting”, he believes. He himself preferred to leave the “the benefit of the doubt” to the businessman, but he will leave if the platform turns to the extreme right.
Although the company’s profitability is not currently among its priorities, some statements by Elon Musk suggest that he intends to remake the economic model. Among the tracks mentioned in his previous statements, the billionaire toyed with the idea of reducing the share of advertising revenue from the site and increasing subscriptions thanks to the Twitter Blue formula.
Petit Poucet des Gafa, the network shows a turnover of 1.18 billion dollars in the second quarter of 2022, down 1% compared to last year. A figure that is 28 times smaller than its Meta competitor. “Obviously, we will pay too much, but the potential [de la plateforme] is higher than its current value, Elon Musk told analysts recently at Tesla’s earnings conference. It remains to be seen concretely what meaning the entrepreneur gives to the word “potential”.