Twitter CEO after Elon Musk bombshell: 'No one working just to keep lights on'

Elon Musk triggered a spell of uncertainty with his announcment that the $ 44 billion deal would be on hold for now. 
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and Tesla chief Elon Musk.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and Tesla chief Elon Musk.
Published on May 14, 2022 05:59 AM IST
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Hours after Elon Musk put the $44 billion Twitter takeover deal on hold on Friday, Parag Agrawal - the CEO of the social media giant - put out a rare series of posts amid uncertainty and buzz over the churning within the organisation. “A lot has happened over the past several weeks. I’ve been focused on the company and haven't said much publicly during this time, but I will now,” the 37-year-old leader began saying.

While there have been reports of sackings and restructuring, clearing the air, Agrawal stressed he was “accountable” for leading, even if he was called a “lame-duck” CEO for making changes amid the confusion brought about by the takeover news last month.

“We announced changes to our leadership team and operations yesterday. Changes impacting people are always hard. And some have been asking why a “lame-duck” CEO would make these changes if we’re getting acquired anyway.”

“The short answer is very simple: While I expect the deal to close, we need to be prepared for all scenarios and always do what’s right for Twitter. I’m accountable for leading and operating Twitter, and our job is to build a stronger Twitter every day.” Agrawal wrote.

Trying to convey the sentiment of the moment, Agrawal underlined: “No one at Twitter is working just to keep the lights on.”

“We take pride in our work. Regardless of the company’s future ownership, we’re here improving Twitter as a product and business for customers, partners, shareholders, and all of you. People have also asked: why manage costs now vs after close? Our industry is in a very challenging macro environment – right now. I won’t use the deal as an excuse to avoid making important decisions for the health of the company, nor will any leader at Twitter.”

On Friday, Musk, the world’s richest person, dropped a bombshell as he announced that the biggest tech deals of recent times would be on hold. “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users (sic)”.

“Still committed to acquisition,” the 50-year-old Tesla boss said.

Musk has been quite vocal about the changes he intends to bring after the takeover even as there have been concerns about the likelihood of content moderation going away completely.

On the inside, the overwhelming times have also seen some sackings. Two senior executives - Kayvon Beykpour, a general manager who leads research, design and engineering at Twitter and head of products Bruce Falck - are on their way out, news agency AFP reported.

The report also said that Twitter has frozen hiring except for business critical roles.

"The truth is that this isn't how and when I imagined leaving Twitter, and this wasn't my decision," Beykpour, who is on paternity leave, said in a tweet.

(With inputs from AFP)

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