Billionaire Elon Musk is now the new owner of Twitter and has fired the social media company’s Indian-origin CEO Parag Agrawal and top legal executive Vijaya Gadde, according to a media report.
The New York Times said in a report that Musk closed the $44-billion deal to buy Twitter on Thursday.
Citing people with knowledge of the situation, the report said that Musk “has started cleaning house at Twitter with the firings of at least four top executives”.
The Twitter executives who were fired include Agrawal, Gadde, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and General Counsel Sean Edgett.
“At least one of the executives who was fired was escorted out of Twitter’s office,” the report said.
Agrawal was appointed Twitter CEO in November last year after the social media site’s co-founder Jack Dorsey had stepped down.
An IIT Bombay and Stanford alumnus, Agrawal had joined Twitter over a decade ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees at the company.
“Agrawal, who was appointed Twitter’s chief executive last year, had clashed” with Musk “publicly and privately in recent months about the takeover,” the NYT report said.
Musk had also “singled out” Gadde, “criticising her for her role in content moderation decisions at the company”, it added.
As the Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump was permanently suspended in January last year, Hyderabad-born Gadde was at the forefront of this dramatic decision undertaken within days of the attempted insurrection by pro-Trump supporters at the US Capitol.
Musk had arrived at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday and had been meeting with engineers and advertising executives.
The 51-year-old has promised to transform Twitter by loosening the service’s content moderation rules, making its algorithm more transparent and nurturing subscription businesses, as well as laying off employees.
Musk at one point tried to back out of the deal, but recommitted to it this month as he faced legal challenges for trying to withdraw.
Overspending on Twitter Inc for $44 billion was the easy part.
Now, Telsa Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk must prove why he believes that Twitter is worth 10 times that amount and turn around a social media platform that he has spent months ridiculing.