Good morning, Elon Musk owns Twitter. We knew it was going to happen (except for the part where Elon fought it tooth and nail), but it’s real now, so let’s catch you up on the whirlwind that was the new “Chief Twit’s” ascension.
The week’s festivities kicked off with Elon Musk paying a visit to Twitter HQ, on what we now know was the eve of the official deal close. He used the occasion to make an admittedly kinda funny visual pun about the phrase “let that sink in,” by carrying a sink and literally having Twitter let him and that sink in.
Whimsical chaotic energy is definitely Musk’s strong suit, so this is expected behavior, even if you can’t imagine any other execs — like, say, Tim Cook, for example — carrying large porcelain objects into office lobbies to announce an acquisition close.
On the heels of a report that some advertisers might boycott Twitter should Elon lift Donald Trump’s permanent ban, the Muskie posts an extended missive to advertisers trying to explain his logic (“I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love” is exquisite) and ends by assuring them it won’t “become a free-for-all hellscape” under his rule.
Bucking the odds-makers, Elon does not reveal the deal close at 4:20 PM PT, but instead the news first trickles out then hits like a wave with near-simultaneous reports across all major outlets on Thursday at around 6 PM PT.
That means he beat the deadline set upon him by Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen McCormick, which was today, October 28. The deadline resulted from the court case that resulted from Elon trying to wriggle out of the deal — in which he floated multiple defenses as an attempt to get out of his $44 billion commitment.
Musk wasted no time clearing house when he got in: He fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, General Counsel Sean Edgett and Head of Legal, Trust and Safety Vijaya Gadde basically at the same time he was officially handed the keys.
Clearly, there was no love lost between Musk and Agrawal. And he’d previously been criticized for posting criticism of Gadde that essentially got her targeted by his sycophantic troll army. Plus, for the Twitter top legal brass, I bet he wasn’t feeling too great about that bit of litigation the deal closing helped him escape.
Reports early in this process indicated Elon might want to set himself up as Twitter’s next chief executive — adding a third (fourth? who knows) CEO title to his current LinkedIn profile. That seems to be the case, as reports just following the deal say he’ll put himself in the power spot.
Musk is taking it private via his financing vehicle X Holdings I, Inc. which is now sole owner of the company in its entirety.
One of Musk’s first big leadership decisions appears to be to install a content moderation council that will help decide matters like who gets banned on the platform and for what — similar to Facebook’s Oversight Board.
Twitter does already have a trust and safety council that acts in an advisory capacity, but that’s a large group that seems to act more behind the scenes to inform product decisions, whereas this would be a ‘Supreme Court’ of sorts for decisions on who gets to tweet and what in cases of controversy.
That’s the story so far, but there’s going to be plenty more, so stay tuned. We’ll update this post as more develops throughout the day and beyond.
Elon Musk owns Twitter: The story so far by Darrell Etherington originally published on TechCrunch