Elon Musk fired Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and head of legal policy Vijaya Gadde after completing the acquisition of the microblogging giant. Twitter’s chief financial officer Ned Segal was also among members of the senior leadership who were fired. Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett was reportedly escorted out of the Twitter headquarters according to reports.
Musk’s Twitter acquisition saga had started earlier this year, when he amassed a 9 percent stake in the social media giant to become its largest shareholder. In April he followed up with a proposal to acquire Twitter by offering $54.20 per share. The deal then descended into chaos as he blamed the Twitter board for misrepresenting the number of fake accounts on the platform. Twitter shares plunged during the spat that followed and Musk said he was quitting the deal, forcing the Board to sue him.
Musk famously reversed course earlier this month when he announced he was going ahead with the deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, agreeing to give $54.20 for every share.
Earlier this week Musk entered the Twitter headquarters with a kitchen sink, apparently taking a dig at the liberal detractors who had cried coarse over Musk taking control of the microblogging platform. “Let that sink in,” Musk said in apparent reference to the sense of disbelief in the political circles.
Vijaya Gadde Fired
CEO Agrawal and legal counsel Vijaya Gadde were instrumental in tilting Twitter policy much too close to the liberal political agenda. Musk had long complained about the muffling of voices on the right on the Twitter platform, saying that by doing so Twitter was not fulfilling its duty as a virtual town square. He had lambasted against the censoring at Twitter, which was allegedly used as a tool to scupper conservative voices while protecting the rights of users on the liberal extremes.
Musk’s Free Speech Absolutisim
Musk was openly and extremely critical of this policy of Twitter, which it called content moderation’. Musk was clear that he wanted to review this arbitrary policy and bring in a more maximalist approach that would favor free speech.
The blocking of former US President Donald Trump from Twitter was a case in point that Musk had articulated. Vijaya Gadde was instrumental in formulating a policy that saw the blocking of Trump on the platform. After proposing to take over Twitter in April, Musk had said that he would bring Trump back to the platform.
Big Policy Shift
All eyes will now be on the developments in Twitter, which has become a private company under the leadership of the Tesla founder. It remains to be seen if Trump makes a comeback on Twitter ahead of the November mid-term elections in the US.
There is also the chance of many on the political right who were banned on the platform coming back on Twitter. Musk has been saying that he is against the policy of banning people permanently from the platform.
In the closer run-up to the Twitter acquisition, Musk moderated the extreme views, saying that he was against Twitter a “free-for-all-hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.”