The Twitter drama started with Elon Musk refusing to join Twitter’s board and opting to buy it instead, only to take a U-turn over fake accounts or bots on the site. But the directors made Musk go through with the deal after taking him to court, and he fired top execs including Indian origin CEO Parag Agrawal and legal head Vijaya Gadde upon taking over. Amid reports that 25 per cent of Twitter’s workforce may be laid off, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has fired the entire board at the social media firm.
No one left to oppose Musk
Musk has dissolved a nine-member board to become the sole director of Twitter according to a company filing by the social network. With more than 9.2 per cent of the company’s shares, he is also holds the single largest stake in the firm. As always, Musk didn’t provide more details on the matter while tweeting that the arrangement was temporary, amid reports of major changes in the pipeline.
What can he do with all that power?
So far Musk has asked his followers to create a list of people that need to be sacked, and might fire thousands of employees. Although he isn’t sure who the CEO is, Musk is reportedly planning to charge a monthly fee for verifying handles and providing the much sought after blue tick. The return of short-video feature Vine and a new council for deciding on content moderation may also be on the cards under Musk.
Saudi Prince the second largest stakeholder
After Musk, now his foe-turned-friend Saudi Prince Waleed Bin Talal owns the second largest share in Twitter, and has raised eyebrows. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy called for a foreign investment committee to investigate what Saudi involvement in Twitter means for national security in the US. Talal had initially opposed Musk’s bid to takeover Twitter and was even mocked by the eccentric entrepreneur on social media.
But over the course of the past few months, he went on to call Musk an excellent leader to make the most of Twitter’s potential, and also transferred close to 35 million shares of his own to the Tesla CEO. When added to bank loans and money raised from other investors, Talal’s stocks ensured that Musk was able to finance the $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter.