Elon Musk officially becomes Twitter CEO and dissolves board of directors

Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum's 21st annual Halloween party at Sake No Hana at Moxy Lower East Side on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in New York.
Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum's 21st annual Halloween party at Sake No Hana at Moxy Lower East Side on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in New York.   -   Copyright  Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
By Euronews  with Reuters

Elon Musk has dissolved Twitter's board of directors and appointed himself CEO, as employees brace for mass layoffs after the billionaire's takeover of the social media platform.

Musk, who already runs electric carmaker Tesla, rocket company SpaceX, brain-chip startup Neuralink and tunnelling firm the Boring Company, fired Twitter's previous chief Parag Agrawal and other top company officials last week, after his $44 billion (€44.3 billion) buyout was concluded.

The entrepreneur announced his Twitter CEO role in a securities filing on Monday. In a separate filing, he revealed that he became the sole director of Twitter as a result of the takeover.

Musk had previously changed his Twitter bio to "Chief Twit" in an allusion to his planned move. Twitter on Monday declined to comment on how long Musk might remain CEO or appoint someone else.

"The following persons, who were directors of Twitter prior to the effective time of the merger, are no longer directors of Twitter: Bret Taylor, Parag Agrawal, Omid Kordestani, David Rosenblatt, Martha Lane Fox, Patrick Pichette, Egon Durban, Fei-Fei Li and Mimi Alemayehou," Musk said in the filing.

Shortly afterwards, Musk tweeted that the move to dissolve the board "is just temporary," without elaborating.

Replying to a tweeted question on what was "most messed up at Twitter", Musk tweeted on Sunday that "there seem to be 10 people "managing" for every one person coding".

On Monday, Nick Caldwell, a general manager at Twitter's Core Technologies indicated on his Twitter bio that he was no longer with the company. 

Changes to Twitter's verification process

Since the takeover, which concluded last week, Musk has moved quickly to put his stamp on Twitter, which he had ridiculed for months for being slow to introduce product changes or take down spam accounts.

His teams began meeting with some employees to investigate Twitter's software code and understand how aspects of the platform worked, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Musk has also proposed revisions to the platform's user verification process, which has been free until now. Responding to a tweet from author Stephen King that he would not be willing to pay $20 (€20.15) a month to keep the verified badge on Twitter, Musk replied: "How about $8?"

The billionaire said that introducing a price was the only way to defeat trolls and bots on the platform and that Twitter could not entirely rely on advertisers to pay its bills.

Some staff who spoke with Reuters said they had received little communication from Musk or other leaders and were using news reports to piece together what was happening at the company.

Tesla's stock has lost a third of its value since Musk made an offer to buy Twitter in April, compared with a 12 per cent decline in the benchmark S&P 500 index in the same period.