At long last, the storied and passive-aggressive courtship of Twitter by Elon Musk has reached its conclusion. The SpaceX and Tesla chief acquired the massive social media site for his initial offer of $54.20 per share, or about $44 billion, in an agreement that closed on Thursday evening. While the deal could be good news for investors and users, it was not pretty for Twitter’s top brass.
In a powerful “I’m over her now” move, Musk canned CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, as well as Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, according to the Washington Post. Sean Edgett, the company’s general counsel, was also shown the curb, with the whole lot quickly tossed from the company’s San Francisco headquarters.
The timing of the agreement to go ahead with the $54.20 per share bargain (Haha, see Elon’s ageless 420 joke?), saves both parties from a five-day trial in Delaware, where a judge had given them until October 28 to reach an agreement outside of court—one experts say Musk was likely to lose.
The earliest tremors were felt in March, when Musk, having long-criticized what he felt was Twitter censorship, became the platform’s largest shareholder, snatching up 9.2 percent of all stock. But it got quite greasy from there.
By May, after making his offer, Musk began to openly accuse Twitter of lying about how many users were merely spam-bots. After further contretemps on the issue, Musk officially tried to put the kibosh his own deal in July. In August, however, Musk sold almost $7 billion in Tesla shares to pay for the deal, but also claimed that whistleblower accounts about lax Twitter security tended to back up his bot suspicions and tried to use it to call off the deal again.
In the meantime, both sides had been preparing for, while trying to avert, that ugly, immanent court battle.
In September, Twitter decided that Musk’s whistleblower argument was not convincing, and approved his $44 billion bid. In October, federal law enforcement announced an investigation into Musk’s attempts to take the company. But, apparently, everything is now just fine with the monster deal.
In case you were worried that Musk’s rein will destroy Twitter, he tweeted on Thursday: “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022