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Elon Musk finalizes Twitter acquisition; fires top executives

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After months of back and forth, tech billionaire, Elon Musk has finally closed the $44 billion Twitter deal. The deal to buy the micro-blogging site was completed on Thursday night, reports say.

Following the acquisition, Mr Musk has began house cleaning, with at least, four top executives getting fired. The executives whose jobs were affected include the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Parag Agrawal, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ned Segal. Other executives affected by the job loss are the top legal and policy executive, Vijaya Gadde, and the general counsel, Sean Edgett.

Left – right: Parag Agrawal, Ned Segal, Vijaya Gadde and Sean Edgett. Source: NYTimes

In an apparent confirmation of the takeover, Musk Tweeted that “the bird is freed”. The completion of the deal happened a hair breadth away from the Friday deadline that was set for the deal, after which a court case would have ensued.

Prior to the deal, Elon Musk had mentioned his intention to terminate the deal, but he was met with a lawsuit by Twitter, stating that Musk “refuses to honor his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.”

Musk later decided to pursue the deal at the initial price of $54.20 per share. He notes that he was making the purchase to create a platform where people can say anything without fear of consequences. He also said he would lift Twitter’s content moderation policies, eliminate spam, add new features and provide more transparency about the algorithms used to promote content.

“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence. There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far-right wing and far left-wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society,” Musk said in a message.

Read also: Central Bank of Eswatini moves to introduce digital currency

Musk had earlier said he plans to cut jobs at Twitter by 75%, although he later rescinded the decision. He however, went ahead to have a change of executives, after exiting four top executives from the decision making table.

Musk and Agrawal have had back and forth online, showing an obvious fallout between the two. Musk had once tweeted the poop emoji at Agrawal, and both exchanged messages that hints at a fallout. The messages were cited in the legal battle between Musk and the company.

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