Wednesday , May 18 2022

“Once the deal closes we don’t know which direction the platform will go”

Twitter CEO tells employees no layoffs planned ‘at this time’ following Elon Musk buyout

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal didn’t have many concrete answers for staff about what will happen once Elon Musk takes over the company later this year. During a virtual all-hands call Monday, hours after the company announced it had agreed to be bought by Musk for $44 billion, Agrawal fielded questions on the future of his job, the company’s board, and possible layoffs.

Layoffs aren’t planned “at this time,” Agrawal said, according to a person who heard the remarks and who asked to remain anonymous. Agrawal also said that he’d remain as CEO until the deal’s close, but he didn’t comment about what would happen after that. The company’s board will dissolve once the deal closes, said Brett Taylor, the board’s independent chair.

“There is indeed uncertainty about what will happen after the deal closes,” Agrawal told staff.

Since Musk’s intention to buy Twitter became public earlier this month, some Twitter employees have expressed discomfort or outright resistance to Musk’s takeover of the company. And Musk has made clear he wants to see changes on the platform, insisting his attempts to purchase it aren’t financial. Calling Twitter a “de facto town square,” Musk said last week he believes Twitter should “open source the algorithm.”

Musk has repeatedly focused on the utility of Twitter as a space for free speech, and the question of former President Donald Trump’s presence on the platform came up during the all-staff meeting today. Trump was banned from the platform in 2021, but Agrawal didn’t have a definitive answer to whether Trump would have access to his favorite social network going forward. Trump today said he wouldn’t return to Twitter even if he was welcomed back under its new owner, and that he would use his Truth Social platform instead.

“Once the deal closes we don’t know which direction the platform will go,” Agrawal told staff regarding Trump, saying it was a question that should be addressed with Musk.

The deal is expected to close later this year. Until Musk takes over, Twitter’s staff may have to wait to hear about how things will change. “We don’t have all the answers,” Agrawal said. “This is a period of uncertainty.”

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