Twitter CEO Among Top Executives Departing as Elon Musk Takes Over
People who know about the situation say that Twitter Inc. CEO Parag Agrawal is one of the executives who plan to leave after Elon Musk finishes his $44 billion deal to take over the social network.
Twitter’s general counsel Sean Edgett has been with the company since 2012, and the head of legal, policy, and trust, Vijaya Gadde, is also departing the company, according to sources familiar with the case who declined to be identified because the information is private. A comment from Twitter was requested but went unanswered for some time.
Twitter CEO Among Top Executives Departing From Twitter
In November, when co-founder Jack Dorsey quit without warning, Agrawal took over as CEO. Before Musk became a large shareholder and increasingly vocal opponent of Twitter’s current leadership, Agrawal had worked with the company for a decade, most recently as chief technology officer.
Agrawal’s job security was much diminished after Musk’s arrival. Musk stated in an early filing, “I don’t have faith in management,” and public jabs were traded between the two executives. Musk tweeted a poop emoji in response to Agrawal’s May Twitter discussion in which he defended the company’s user metrics.
Text messages revealed during the lawsuit show that the two men got into an argument after Musk asked his followers if Twitter was “dying” early on in the process of making the deal.
Agrawal confronted him via text. “You are free to tweet ‘is Twitter dying?’ or anything else about Twitter,” he wrote on April 9, “but it’s my responsibility to tell you that it’s not helping me make Twitter better in the current context.” Musk fired back, “What did you get done this week?” And then: “I’m not joining the board this is a waste of time.”
Musk made fun of Agrawal for taking a trip to Hawaii during contract discussions the next week in a series of messages to a friend. When asked, “Shouldn’t he be in a war room right now?! “ Musk received a message from investor Jason Calacanis. “Does doing occasional zoom calls while drinking fruity cocktails at the Four Seasons count?” Musk replied.
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s attempts to mend fences between Musk, a longtime friend of Dorsey’s, and Agrawal after the deal was announced also failed. Dorsey texted Musk after a meeting, “At least it became clear that you can’t work together. That was clarifying.”
Agrawal will not be leaving without some sort of reward. A filing indicates that as part of the agreement, the CEO will receive full vesting of any outstanding equity awards. Reuters cited estimates from the research firm Equilar that put his earnings at $42 million.
Gadde, in his role as Twitter’s head of legal and policy issues, has supervised the creation and enforcement of rules for hundreds of millions of internet users, including notable ones who are exempt from stricter content limitations due to the company’s exemptions for newsworthy posts or communications by world leaders. Musk has stated that the acquisition of Twitter is “vital to a functioning democracy,” and that he intends to use the network to make free speech more accessible.
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
After Musk made public criticisms of Twitter’s content-related policies earlier this year, Gadde became the target of a wave of online abuse. After Trump’s fans attacked the Capitol in 2021, the company banned him for life in January. Many people believe Musk will reinstate Trump‘s account and other users who have been suspended for breaking rules on offensive or harmful content based on his statements before he acquired the social media company.
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