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28th Oct 2022

Elon Musk set to welcome Trump back to Twitter as he axes top execs

Steve Hopkins

The ‘chief twit’ has already picked off a few top execs

Elon Musk has taken over Twitter, triumphantly posting “the bird is freed” on the platform as he axed several top executives.

His next move will be to restore Twitter users who have been handed lifetime bans from the platform – among them former president Donald Trump, MailOnline suggested.

Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal, the chief financial officer Ned Segal, and its top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, were fired hours after Musk finalised the $44billion deal. Agrawal, who has repeatedly clashed with Musk over the number of users Twitter has, will reportedly walk away from his job with $42 million, after being chief executive officer for just under a year.

Gadde, who earned $17 million in 2021, has been paid out $12.5 million, Insider said, and Segal – the man behind Trump’s ban – will get $25.4 million. Sean Edgett, the company’s general counsel, and chief customer officer Sarah Personette were also let go.

Musk will take over as CEO, a source told Bloomberg – although it was suggested that may be interim role.

Billionaire Musk is set to hold a company-wide meeting on Friday.

Twitter’s engineers reportedly could no longer make changes to code as of noon Thursday in San Francisco, part of an effort to ensure that nothing about the product changed ahead of the deal closing. Musk had previously said he did not have confidence in Twitter’s management and initially vowed to sack 75 per cent of the workforce.

On Wednesday, Musk changed his Twitter profile to identify himself as the ‘Chief Twit’ and posted a video of himself walking into the company’s San Francisco headquarters carrying a porcelain sink.

Musk warned advertisers earlier on Thursday that Twitter cannot become a “hellscape” under his ownership.

The Tesla CEO sent a tweet to advertisers on Thursday morning, saying that while he wants the social media giant to become a “digital town square” it “obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.”

“Our platform must be warm and welcoming to all,” he wrote, “where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”

Musk also revealed his “motivation” for buying the company, saying: “There has been much speculation about why I bought Twitter and what I think about advertising. Most of it is wrong.”

He said he acquired the company”‘because it is important to the future of civilisation to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”

In June, Musk told Twitter employees he plans to loosen content moderation standards — which he claims are infringing on free speech — and restore Trump’s account as soon as he takes ownership of the company.

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