Oct 28, 2022 - Economy

Twitter employees in the dark as Elon Musk purges top execs

Photo illustration of Elon Musk holding the twitter logo

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

Twitter employees — including people in senior roles and those with lots of stock at stake — were left in the dark Thursday night as Elon Musk closed his deal to take over the company. They got the news on Twitter.

Why it matters: Employees have been through a wild ride over the past few months, being forced to continue operating a company without any assurance that their jobs or work would remain intact after the deal closed.

  • As of Thursday night, many Twitter employees hadn't received any sort of internal updates or communications about what was happening, despite press reports confirming the deal was done and that the company's four top executives had been fired.
  • Many we're scrambling to get details about whether their own department heads were fired alongside top executives.

Between the lines: The deal will make some of those same employees rich.

  • Musk closed the deal at a whopping $54.20 per share. One source inside Twitter noted they wouldn't be surprised if Twitter's stock would have been trading at $15 sans the deal drama — a figure similar to some of its competitors like Snap and Pinterest.
  • "Saved by hubris," one source quipped about the stock silver lining.
Via Twitter

Zoom in: CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and general counsel Sean Edgett all were fired.

  • Also removed was Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's longtime head of legal, policy and trust. The prior CEO, Jack Dorsey, had put her in charge of major user account decisions — including the one to permanently ban former President Trump. (His account remains suspended this morning.)

What we're watching: It's unclear whether other top executives will remain, including Twitter's chief customer officer Sarah Personette — who got Musk to assure advertisers in a tweet:

  • "Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape ... Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world."

Go deeper: Axios' How It Happened podcast unpacks Twitter's history, its challenges, what Musk has said about his intentions for the platform, and the tension between free speech ideals and content moderation. Listen here.

Go deeper