Elon Musk's first day at Twitter: Parag Agrawal, Vijaya Gadde, other top executives fired

Elon Musk's first day at Twitter: Parag Agrawal, Vijaya Gadde, other top executives fired

Updated: 3 months, 12 days, 9 hours, 48 minutes, 53 seconds ago

Elon Musk is officially the "Chief Twit"; his Twitter bio says so! 

The world's richest man now also owns the world's most popular Town Square, Twitter. The Twitter acquisition was all the tech industry could talk about for over half of 2022. The on-again and off-again relationship between Twitter and Musk ended in... a marriage (!) by the deadline set by a US court. 

Now, here's all that's changed on DAY 1 of Elon Musk's takeover:

Who all have been fired? Remember the reports that said he's going to fire 75% of Twitter's employees? Well, we don't know if the figures are true but surely the firings have started from the very top.

Elon has arrived for the Twitter board meeting. pic.twitter.com/GCk8odJHl8— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) October 26, 2022

(Source: The Washington Post, CNBC, The New York Times)

CEO Parag Agrawal  Head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde  CFO Ned Segal General counsel Sean Edgett Chief customer officer Sarah Personette 

Funnily, Peronette had tweeted this a day before she was fired!

Had a great discussion with @elonmusk last evening! Our continued commitment to brand safety for advertisers remains unchanged. Looking forward to the future! https://t.co/B7NFJhD2hq— Sarah Personette (@SEP) October 27, 2022

The above are among some of the top Twitter executives who have reportedly been fired. Some of them including Agrawal and Edgett, who were in the office when they were fired, were reportedly escorted out of Twitter building by security. 

Thank you to @paraga, @vijaya, and @nedsegal for the collective contribution to Twitter. Massive talents, all, and beautiful humans each!

— Biz Stone (@biz) October 28, 2022

For an average office worker, getting fired may be depressing, but for the above-mentioned names, there was a sweet farewell takeaway.

A fat severance pay? (Source: Business Insider)

Parag Agrawal got $38.7 million  Ned Segal got $25.4 million Vijaya Gadde got $12.5 million Sarah Personette got $11.2 million

All this makes Elon Musk seem like a winner and further boosts his image as a genius leader. His online fans are excited.

But the cool Twitter takeover isn't so cool for Musk in real. To understand why, let's take a look at how Elon Musk financed the deal (Yes, even the richest man can't just buy a company off the shelf!)

How Musk financed the deal: Elon Musk did not want to cough up any of his personal finances to buy Twitter. But he had to!

Musk ended up selling $15.5 billion worth of his Tesla shares. According to reports, Musk will personally have to cough up about $27 billion in cash for the transaction.  He already owns 9.6% of Twitter in shares.  About $5.2 billion is coming from various investment groups including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.  Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has transferred nearly 35 million shares he already owned to Musk.  About $13 billion is coming from loans by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, etc. These loans are backed by the company itself and not Musk. 

Given that Elon Musk's world's richest man title, his entire current persona and the market value of his name itself rests on his car-making company Tesla, a lot could go wrong if one or the other fails to perform. 

Now, it needs to be noted that the Twitter acquisition itself is not a good buy for Musk. 

Not a good buy: Even Elon Musk has acknowledged that he has overpaid for Twitter acquisition. 

The acquisition cost $44 billion. This is at a time when Twitter isn't actually making any profits.  In fact, the social media company made just about $5 billion in revenue last year.  A recent internal Twitter document revealed that their "heavy tweeters" like Elon Musk, only 10% in number, are becoming less active. This 10% generates 90% of all of Twitter's revenue. 

And by Musk's own concerns, Twitter probably has a grave 'bot' infestation too.  Twitter also has a very political problem too. Twitter more left-leaning users may be discouraged from using the platform just by Musk's presence. Then Twitter's content moderation issue stands in the way too. Something Musk says he'll dial down to a bare minimum.  But will Musk be able to handle the riot of explicit things from footage of murders, suicide, sexual exploitation, etc shared on the platform? 

These are just SOME of the issues plaguing Twitter. We will let THAT SINK in. 

Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022

Now, let's take a look at what Elon Musk plans to do with Twitter:  Elon Musk wants to be Twitter CEO first and foremost.  His reason for acquiring Twitter is because it is "important to the future of civilisation".

Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022 Musk has promised Twitter investors that he will double the company's revenue in 3 years.  He also has plans to turn Twitter into X, the Everything App, modeled on China's WeChat. Musk also wants to reverse the lifetime bans on users, so it could mean the re-entry of the erstwhile Twitter's most important s**tposter, Donald Trump.

Elon Musk adding Donald Trump, Katie Hopkins and Tommy Robinson back onto Twitter… pic.twitter.com/dYbTxDaCfD— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) October 28, 2022 He also wants to get rid of the bots and charge corporations and governments a small amount to use Twitter.  Immediately, he had plans to trim Twitter employees, especially those in content moderation. 

Now the questions that remain unanswered are:

If Elon Musk fails to revive Twitter, will his reputation be affected? And by reputation, will his market value and subsequently the market value of his companies be affected? 

Say, if Tesla's prices were to plummet, will Twitter and Elon Musk both drown with it? 

Only time will tell how one of the world's most messiest tech deals will go down in history.