Elon Musk now owns Twitter, according to reports


(NewsNation) — Billionaire Elon Musk is now the owner of Twitter after his $44 billion deal to buy the company was completed Thursday night, according to reports.

Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal both left the company and will not be returning, according to CNBC. Head of legal policy Vijaya Gadde was fired, according to the Washington Post.

Musk’s closing of the deal came ahead of a Friday deadline that, if not met, would have sent Musk and Twitter to a court battle.

Late Thursday, Musk tweeted, “the bird has been freed,” a reference to Twitter’s logo.

After originally agreeing to buy Twitter in April, Musk later backed out of the deal, saying Twitter was not being honest about the number of bot accounts on its website. Twitter sued Musk, but the deal struck Thursday signals an end to the legal battle.

Musk said in a tweet earlier this week that he bought the company to “help humanity” and doesn’t want it to become a “free-for-all hellscape.”

“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” Musk said in a tweeted statement.

The Associated Press reported last week Musk was planning to cut 75% of Twitter’s staff after he took over the company.

Musk is expected to speak to Twitter employees directly Friday if the deal is finalized, according to an internal memo cited in several media outlets. There is internal confusion and low morale tied to fears of layoffs or a dismantling of the company’s culture and operations.

The Washington Post reported last week that Musk told prospective investors that he plans to cut three quarters of Twitter’s 7,500 workers when he becomes owner of the company. The newspaper cited documents and unnamed sources familiar with the deliberation.

Musk has spent months deriding Twitter’s “spam bots” and making sometimes conflicting pronouncements about Twitter’s problems and how to fix them.

Thursday’s note to advertisers shows a newfound emphasis on advertising revenue, especially a need for Twitter to provide more “relevant ads” — which typically means targeted ads that rely on collecting and analyzing users’ personal information.

Yildirim said that, unlike Facebook, Twitter has not been good at targeting advertising to what users want to see. Musk’s message suggests he wants to fix that, she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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