SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk attends a joint press conference with T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert (not pictured) at the SpaceX Starbase in Brownsville, Texas, on August 25, 2022.
Addresses Latif | Reuters
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now in charge TwitterCNBC learned.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal have left the company’s San Francisco headquarters and will not be returning, sources said. Vijaya Gadde, head of the legal policy, trust and safety division, was also fired, the Washington Post reported.
Musk had to complete his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter by Friday or face a lawsuit with the company.
The billionaire tweeted “The bird is freed” in an apparent reference to the completion of the acquisition.
In April, Twitter accepted Musk’s proposal to buy the social media service and take it private. However, Musk soon began to sow doubts about his intentions to honor the agreement, claiming that the company had failed to adequately disclose the number of spam and fake accounts on the service.
When Musk said he was canceling the deal, Twitter sued the billionaire, claiming he “is refusing to honor his obligations to Twitter and its shareholders because the deal he signed no longer served his personal interests.”
In the months that followed, Twitter and Musk exchanged barbs through their attorneys, as the two parties were set to go to the Delaware Court of Chancery to determine the fate of the company and whether it would end up in the hands of the Tesla boss.
In early October, Musk had a change of heart, saying he would continue his acquisition of Twitter at the original price of $54.20 per share if the social messaging service dropped its litigation. Twitter’s lawyers were suspicious of Musk’s motives, saying the Tesla CEO’s proposal was “an invitation to further mischief and delay.”
A Delaware Chancery Court judge eventually ruled that Musk had until Oct. 28 to solidify the Twitter deal or go to court.
It’s still unclear how Musk will fund the deal. Earlier this year, Musk secured debt financing from a number of investment banks. He also received the backing of some high-profile investors, including venture capital firms and technology CEOs.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance, one of the original backers, confirmed to CNBC on Friday that it is an equity investor in Musk’s Twitter acquisition.
“We are excited to help Elon realize a new vision for Twitter. We want to play a role in bringing social media and Web3 together to expand the use and adoption of crypto and blockchain technology,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a statement.
Web3 is a term used by the technology industry to refer to the next generation of the internet.
On Thursday, Musk wrote a message intended to reassure advertisers that social messaging services would not turn into “a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said without consequences!”.
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital city square where a wide range of beliefs can be discussed in a healthy way without resorting to violence,” he said Musk in the message. “Currently, there is a great danger that social media will splinter into right-wing extremist and left-wing extremist echo chambers, which will generate even more hate and divide our society.”
Musk arrived at Twitter headquarters earlier this week with a sink and documented the event on Twitter by saying, “Enter Twitter HQ – let that sink in!”
Musk also updated his Twitter description to “Chief Twit.”
– CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal and Ryan Browne contributed to this report.