Elon Musk fired key Twitter executives Thursday, one of his first moves as the official owner of the social media platform. According to reports from The New York Times, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and other outlets, Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, General Counsel Sean Edgett and Head of Legal Policy, Trust and Safety Vijaya Gadde.
The deal is done, according to multiple sources, which is what gave Musk the mandate to clean house among the executive ranks. The Tesla CEO had previously criticized Gadde on his Twitter account, since she was involved in the decision to ban former President Donald Trump from the platform. He has also tangled with Agrawal. Publicly, Musk tweeted poop emojis at the CEO, who took over for founder Jack Dorsey late last year. It wasn’t much better in private, either. The two exchanged text messages that indicated a falling out, as revealed by chat logs disclosed in discovery in the legal battle between the billionaire and the social network.
Musk was rumored to say that he wants to cut 75% of Twitter’s staff, though he then backtracked that statement — still, gutting four execs on a Thursday night isn’t reassuring to the remaining Twitter employees. Even Twitter co-founder Biz Stone addressed the shake-up.
Twitter has already had quite the shuffling of executive staff since Agrawal took over for Dorsey. Before serving as CEO, Agrawal was the company’s CTO — he first started at Twitter in 2011. But within a few weeks, two executives stepped down as part of Agrawal’s restructuring: Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis, who joined the company in 2019, and Head of Engineering Michael Montano, who joined in 2011. Shortly after, Twitter lost two more leaders, Chief Information Security Officer Rinki Sethi, and Head of Security Peiter Zatko (aka Mudge). In May, Twitter GM of Consumer Kayvon Beykpour announced he would be leaving the company after seven years after Agrawal asked him to step down. At the same time, Bruce Falck, Twitter’s revenue product lead, also left the company.
Twitter’s leadership is already going to look a lot different under Musk’s control, and this is only the very beginning.
“The past 6 months have pulled on every mental muscle I’ve developed in 48 years,” now former CFO Ned Segal tweeted on Friday morning. “You learn so much when times are challenging and unpredictable, when we are tired or feel our integrity questioned. Our team remained kind, respectful, and steadfast. They’re lifelong friends.”
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