‘The Bird Is Freed’: As New Twitter Owner, Elon Musk Fires CEO Parag Agarwal, 3 Other Execs

New Delhi: Billionaire Elon Musk is now the new owner of Twitter and has fired the social media company’s four top executives, including Indian-origin CEO Parag Agrawal and legal executive Vijaya Gadde, according to media reports.

The New York Times said in a report that Musk has closed the $44-billion deal to buy Twitter on Thursday, October 27.

Early on Friday (Indian Time), Musk tweeted “the bird is freed,” signifying his takeover was complete.

He had also tweeted a video of himself walking into the company’s headquarters on Wednesday carrying a porcelain sink, posting: “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!”

The Tesla CEO had earlier changed his Twitter profile to refer to himself as “Chief Twit” and switched his location to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.

Citing people with knowledge of the situation, the NYT had said that Musk has started cleaning house at Twitter with the firings of at least four top executives.

The Twitter executives who were fired include Agrawal, Gadde, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and General Counsel Sean Edgett.

At least one of the executives who was fired was “escorted out of Twitter’s office,” the report said.

Agrawal was appointed Twitter CEO in November last year after the social media site’s co-founder Jack Dorsey had stepped down.

An IIT Bombay and Stanford alumnus, Agrawal had joined Twitter over a decade ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees at the company.

Agrawal, who was appointed Twitter’s chief executive last year, had clashed with Musk publicly and privately in recent months about the takeover, the NYT report said.

Musk had also singled out Gadde, criticising her for her role in content moderation decisions at the company, it added.

As the Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump was permanently suspended in January last year, Hyderabad-born Gadde was at the forefront of this dramatic decision, undertaken within days of the attempted insurrection by pro-Trump supporters at the US Capitol.

Musk had arrived at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday and had been meeting with engineers and advertising executives.

“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” Musk, who typically projects his thoughts in one-line tweets, wrote in a long message aimed at advertisers.

The 51-year-old has promised to transform Twitter by loosening the service’s content moderation rules, making its algorithm more transparent and nurturing subscription businesses, as well as laying off employees.

Musk at one point tried to back out of the deal, but recommitted to it this month as he faced legal challenges for trying to withdraw.

Featured image: Elon Musk clinched a deal to buy Twitter Inc in April. Photo: Reuters

(With PTI and DW inputs)