By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
NEW YORK (Worthy News) – Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, has completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter and fired top executives, in a move that some hope will mean a boost for free speech.
Several conservative and Christian leaders and commentators who were among those banned from Twitter hope to return to the U.S. -based social media platform with more than 230 million users worldwide.
Soon after the announcement, executives including CEO Parag Agrawal as well as Ned Segal, the chief financial officer, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, were among those fired, several sources said.
Agrawal and Segal were in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and were reportedly escorted out.
There were reports this month that Musk also plans to dismiss nearly three-quarters of Twitter’s 7,500 staff. The move has been linked to cost-cutting at a company that will have to pay down a $13 billion debt package that helped pay for the deal.
However, Bloomberg News agency reported the billionaire denied that he would cut 75 percent of staff in a meeting with employees.
Yet Musk, the CEO of car and clean energy company Tesla, warned employees they should anticipate work ethic expectations that are “extreme.”
Thursday’s deal ended a months-long battle with Musk offering to buy the firm and then saying he wanted to pull out, citing concerns about fake accounts. Twitter took legal action to force Musk to complete the deal.
Musk, 51, has said his interest in the platform was not about making money but improving freedom of expression.
He already signaled that he would reverse a permanent ban on former U.S. President Donald J. Trump, reflecting his stance as a confessed “free speech absolutist.”
Twitter plays a crucial role in the political and media landscape due to its following among journalists, commentators, celebrities, and politicians.
The news came ahead of a Friday court-imposed deadline to complete his platform purchase.
On Wednesday, Musk visited the company’s San Francisco headquarters and changed his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit.”
Musk signed a deal to buy Twitter on April 25, but he then expressed concern over the number of spam accounts and announced in July he was walking away from the transaction.
Twitter then sued Musk in Delaware, where the company is incorporated, to demand that he close the deal.
Following a surprise change of mind by Musk as a court date approached, a Delaware judge then gave both sides until October 28 to agree.
The entrepreneur has made clear that his plans for Twitter include “X, the app for everything.”
Some suggest the application for smartphones and other devices may become a “super app” incorporating services such as messaging, social media, payments, and food orders.
Experts have compared it to the hugely successful Chinese app WeChat, but perhaps without the state control linked to social media developed in China or with official Chinese backing.
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.