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Elon Musk’s Twitter ownership starts with firings, uncertainty: Reuters

رويترز: استحواذ إيلون ماسك على تويتر يبدأ بالاقالات وانعدام اليقين

Reuters

Elon Musk became Twitter Inc’s owner on Thursday, firing top executives and providing little clarity over how he will achieve the lofty ambitions he has outlined for the influential social media platform.

The CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc has said he wants to “defeat” spam bots on Twitter, make the algorithms that determine how content is presented to its users publicly available, and prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber for hate and division, even as he limits censorship.

Yet Musk has not offered details on how he will achieve all this and who will run the company. He has said he plans to cut jobs, leaving Twitter’s approximately 7,500 employees fretting about their future. He also said on Thursday he did not buy Twitter to make more money but “to try to help humanity, whom I love.”

Musk terminated Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, according to people familiar with the matter. He had accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the social media platform.

Agrawal and Segal were in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and were escorted out, the sources added.

Twitter, Musk and the executives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

‘Chief Twit’

Before closing the $44-billion acquisition, and never afraid to indulge in theatrics, Musk walked into Twitter’s headquarters on Wednesday with a big grin and carrying a porcelain sink, subsequently tweeting “let that sink in.” He changed his description in his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit.”

He also tried to calm fears among employees that major layoffs are coming and assured advertisers that his past criticism of Twitter’s content moderation rules would not harm its appeal.

“Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” Musk said in an open letter to advertisers on Thursday.

Musk has indicated he sees Twitter as a foundation for creating a “super app” that offers everything from money transfers to shopping and ride-hailing.

“The long-term potential for Twitter in my view is an order of magnitude greater than its current value,” Musk said on Tesla’s call with analysts on Oct. 19.

But Twitter is struggling to engage its most active users who are vital to the business. These “heavy tweeters” account for less than 10% of monthly overall users but generate 90% of all tweets and half of global revenue.

Musk also said in May he would reverse the ban on Donald Trump, who was removed after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, although the former U.S. president has said he won’t return to the platform. He has instead launched his own social media app, Truth Social.

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

A Saga

The deal is the culmination of a remarkable saga, full of twists and turns, that sowed doubt over whether Musk would complete the deal. It began on April 4, when Musk disclosed a 9.2% stake in the company, making him its largest shareholder.

The world’s richest person then agreed to join Twitter’s board, only to balk at the last minute and offer to buy the company instead for $54.20 per share, an offer that Twitter was unsure whether to interpret as another of Musk’s jokes.

Musk’s offer was real, and over the course of just one weekend later in April, the two sides reached a deal at the price he suggested. This happened without Musk carrying out any due diligence on the company’s confidential information, as is customary in an acquisition.

In the weeks that followed, Musk had second thoughts. He complained publicly that he believed Twitter’s spam accounts were significantly higher than Twitter’s estimate, published in regulatory filings, of less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users. His lawyers then accused Twitter of not complying with his requests for information on the subject.

The acrimony resulted in Musk giving notice to Twitter on July 8 that he was terminating their deal on the grounds that Twitter misled him about the bots and did not cooperate with him. Four days later, Twitter sued Musk in Delaware, where the company is incorporated, to force him to complete the deal.

By then, shares of social media companies and the broader stock market had plunged on concerns that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, as it seeks to fight inflation, will push the U.S. economy into recession. Twitter accused Musk of buyer’s remorse, arguing he wanted to get out of the deal because he thought he overpaid.

Most legal analysts said Twitter had the strongest arguments and would likely prevail in court. Their view did not change even after Twitter’s former security chief Peiter Zatko stepped forward as a whistleblower in August to allege that the company failed to disclose weaknesses in its security and data privacy.

On Oct. 4, just as Musk was set to be deposed by Twitter’s lawyers ahead of the start of their trial later in the month, he performed another u-turn and offered to complete the deal as promised. He managed to do that, just one day ahead of an Oct. 28 deadline given by the Delaware judge to avoid going to trial.

Twitter shares ended trade on Thursday in New York up 0.3% at $53.86, a small discount to the $54.20 per share deal price. The stock will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

رويترز

أوقفت كبرى شركات صناعة السيارات في الولايات المتحدة الإعلانات المدفوعة الأجر على منصة “تويتر”، بعدما أكمل الملياردير إيلون ماسك الاستحواذ عليها في وقت ذكرت تقارير أن الأخير سيدفع نحو 200 مليون دولار لمسؤولين تنفيذيين في المنصة، بعدما أقالهم من مناصبهم.

وكان إيلون ماسك، مالك شركة “تيسلا” للسيارات الكهربائية وشركة “سبيس إكس” للصواريخ الفضائية قد أتم قبل يومين صفقة الاستحواذ على موقع “تويتر”، مقابل 44 مليار دولار، بعد مفاوضات ومحاكم استمرت عدة أشهر.

وفي اليوم الأول من توليه زمام الأمور في موقع التدوين المصغر، أقال ماسك عددا من المسؤولين التنفيذيين، من بينهم المدير التنفيذي باراغ أغراوال، والمدير المالي نيد سيغال، ورئيسة الشؤون القانونية والسياسات فيجايا جادي.

وذكرت شبكة “سي إن إن” الأميركية، السبت، أن المسؤولين الثلاثة سيتركون “تويتر” ومعهم مبالغ تقدر بحوالي 187 مليون دولار.

وأضافت أن هؤلاء سيحصلون على جزء كبير من هذه الأموال حتى لو بقوا تحت الإدارة الجديدة.

وسيحصل هؤلاء وغيرهم من المساهمين على دفعات من ماسك، بعدما اشترى الأخير أسهمهم لقاء 54.20 دولارا لكل سهم.

وأغراوال، الذي تولى منصب المدير التنفيذي قبل أقل من عام، يملك أقل حصة في الأسهم من بين الثلاثة، وتقدر بنحو 155 ألف سهم، أي ما يوازي 8.4 مليون دولار وفقا للسعر الذي دفعه ماسك، وسينال سيغال 22 مليون دولار لقاء 406 ألف سهم يمتلكها، أما جادي فستحصل على مبلغ 34.8 مليون دولار مقابل 642 ألف سهم.

غير أن هذا ليس المصدر الوحيد للأموال سيحصل عليها هؤلاء، فهناك أيضا ما يطلق عليه “تعويض المظلة الذهبية”، التي وافق عليها المساهمون في اتفاقية الشراء، وتصل إلى 121 مليون دولار، بالإضافة إلى تأمين صحي لمدة عام قيمته 73 ألف دولار لكل منهم، ليرتفع إجمالي المبالغ التي سيحصلون عليها إلى 187 مليون دولار.

إعلانات توقفت

وفي سياق آخر متصل بصفقة الاستحواذ على “تويتر”، أفادت شبكة “سكاي نيوز” البريطانية بأن أكبر شركة لصناعة السيارات في أميركا أوقفت الإعلانات المدفوعة على “تويتر” بعيد الإعلان عن الصفقة.

ونقلت عن شركة “جنرال موتورز” قولها إنها أوقفت مؤقتا الإعلانات المدفوعة في منصة التدوين المصغر، معتبرة الأمر “مسارا عاديا للشركة” بعد التغيير الكبير الذي حصل على المنصة الإعلامية.

وأضافت أنها منخرطة مع “تويتر” لفهم توجهها في ظل المالك الجديد، مؤكدة أن قسم العناية بالزبائن سيظل يعمل على المنصة.

وشكّلت مبيعات الإعلانات 90 في المئة من عادات “تويتر” في الربع الثاني من العام الجاري.

وكانت العديد من الوكالات الإعلانية والعلامات التجارية قد أعربت عن شكوكها بشأن مستقبل “تويتر” في مايو الماضي، عندما كانت الصفقة في بداياتها.

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