Top Twitter Execs Sacked As Elon Musk’s $44 Billion Purchase Looms

As Elon Musk’s takeover looms, Twitter’s already undergoing a major shakeup as two key execs were axed this week—one while on paternity leave

As entrepreneur and internet troll Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the company looms, Twitter is already undergoing a major shakeup, as two key executives were axed this week—one of whom was unceremoniously sacked while out on paternity leave. 

The departures of Consumer Product General Manager Kayvon Beykpour and Head of Revenue Product Bruce Falck were announced today in an email to Twitter’s staff. The message from Chief Exec Parag Agrawal also noted that hiring at Twitter has been paused and spending will be reigned in—all as Musk’s deal enters its closing months; Agrawal assured staffers that the company will not be making any rounds of layoffs. 

Goals set in 2020 around growth have not been met, Agrawal told staff, writing, “It’s critical to have the right leaders at the right time.”

And times are strange, and likely quite tense, at the San Francisco-based company. Musk, the richest person in the world, has for years been an enfant terrible on Twitter, frequently attacking the company’s executives around speech policy and also laying into everyday users—recall he went to court in 2019 after a tweet accusing a rescue worker he’d been sparring with of being a pedophile. Recently, his criticism of the company’s head of policy led to her receiving a wave of racist online harassment

All of that tension is coupled with the company’s sinking stock price, which is reflective of a current drawback in the tech space, and its recent lackluster quarterly revenue growth and profit reports. The sudden sacking of Beykpour and Falck should only add to this unease around the company’s future. 

Firing Beykpour while he was out of the office on paternity leave might not be the best look for Twitter and Agrawal, either. On Thursday, the new father and 7-year company veteran tweeted that he was asked to leave by Agrawal, who he told followers had said, “wants to take the team in a different direction.

Beykpout led teams across Twitter’s Product, Engineering, Design, Research and Customer Service, according to his LinkedIn profile. In his farewell tweets to his colleagues, Beykpout highlighted his record, including what he said was an 87 percent growth of daily active users since mid-2018, and overseeing new products like Twitter Spaces, Communities, Topics, and tools for creators. 

Beykpout also congratulated his replacement, former Facebook product director Jay Sullivan, who jumped over to Twitter late last year. The now-product head spoke last week to staff at a company meeting to address Musk and some of the seismic changes happening around them.

“Social media is in a crisis of confidence right now,” he said, according to audio leaked to the New York Times. “We may be private, we may be public, we may have an owner who wants to do something different. We don’t know what the future is going to hold.”

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