Elon Musk reportedly takes over Twitter, fires its top executives; fate of company in question

ByJ.R. Stone and Suzanne Phan via KGO logo
Friday, October 28, 2022
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Elon Musk has completed his deal to buy Twitter and has taken control, firing CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal, according to sources.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Elon Musk has officially bought Twitter and is now in charge of the company, according to sources.

Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and general counsel Sean Edgett, two people familiar with the deal said Thursday night.

"They escorted the three people out of the office today. They told them you're fired, you're out so it's not like starting with a positive note where people say, 'I'm going to help you. I'm going to stand by you. I'm going to make sure that this works'," said tech expert and San Jose State University professor Ahmed Banafa.

The people wouldn't say if all the paperwork for the deal, originally valued at $44 billion, had been signed or if the deal has closed. But they said Musk is in charge of the social media platform.

Former Twitter employee Claire Diaz-Ortiz was an early employee at the company and still has friends there.

MORE: Musk doesn't seek a "free-for-all hellscape" for Twitter

"I think everyone is just sad at this point that this is what it has come to, but again I think this is the best outcome among the outcomes that were on the table most recently," said Diaz-Ortiz.

The departures come just hours before a deadline set by a Delaware judge to finalize the deal on Friday. She threatened to schedule a trial if no agreement was reached.

For months, his plans to acquire the social media giant touched off a firestorm of activity online. Some employees have headed for the door.

There's been a lot of drama surrounding Elon Musk's Twitter takeover.

On Wednesday, Musk carried a kitchen sink to Twitter headquarters.

All the buzz about Elon Musk buying Twitter has a lot of people asking on Twitter, "Who's leaving?"

New numbers now out show nationwide, 580 people have left the company in the past quarter.

"What we are seeing is a massive surge in departures from Twitter," said Greg Larkin, with Punks and Pinstripes, a peer to peer mentorship network for Fortune 500 executives.

Musk reportedly told employees that he would not fire 75% of the workforce as some sources had speculated but there are still questions about that.

"If he's able to prove that he can do something awesome with 25% of the current 7,500 employees at Twitter, than what does that mean for Pinterest? What does that mean for Snapchat? And that remains to be seen. I'd be concerned about my job," said Diaz-Ortiz.

Professor Banafa says less employees could be concerning when it comes to dealing with spam, hacking, and extreme content.

"What is free speech for Elon Musk? What is it? How would you define it? How far can you allow this to go?" said Banafa.

In the Bay Area, Twitter lost 280 employees in the past three months.

MORE: Twitter closing or downsizing offices in San Francisco, New York; Oakland expansion plans dropped

Larkin and his colleagues with Punks and Pinstripes crunched the data they gathered from all LinkedIn accounts online.

"We basically analyzed everyone who has a LinkedIn profile who works at Twitter, and we asked ourselves, 'how many people have left each quarter since the beginning of 2022?'" said Larkin.

That number skyrocketed since the beginning of the year. Larkin says the real numbers are most likely two to three times what they're seeing.

"These numbers are going to be an underestimate. It's a lagging indicator. The data is going to become available when someone changes their employment status on LinkedIn. So that's not everyone who has left," said Larkin.

Larkin says Twitter's loss is a big win for other social media platforms in the Bay Area.

VIDEO: Why is Elon Musk interested in Twitter?

"So the people who are leaving for the exits, amidst the turmoil between Elon Musk and Twitter, are getting scooped up by Apple, by Google, by other large tech companies in the Bay Area," Larkin.

When it comes to unemployment, it comes to each tech talent.

"They get picked up very quickly," said Larkin. "So I don't think it's going to have an impact on depressing the Bay Area economy. It doesn't look that way from what we are seeing right now. It just means the talent wars, someone else is going to start winning that war."

Ibrahim Oweis works in the tech industry.

"I think it's time for a shakeup. After a pandemic like this. It would be nice to see a little disruption in the conversation. Right now it's a little too filled with hate," said Oweis.

"I think we got to give him a chance," said Angelo McNeil. "He's an interesting guy. He built an empire."

AP News and CNN Wire contributed to this report.

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