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Ahead of Musk’s Takeover, Twitter CEO Announces Firings, Hiring Freeze, Cost Cutting

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Twitter’s chief executive officer is making some bold moves ahead of billionaire Elon Musk’s expected takeover of one of the world’s biggest social media platforms.

According to an internal memo from CEO Parag Agrawal, which was obtained by Bloomberg, Twitter has enacted a hiring freeze while also noting the departure of two top executives.

The memo also said that the company will is cutting travel, consulting, and marketing expenses, according to the  Bloomberg report.

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“At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company, we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals,” Agrawal wrote in the memo.

“In order to responsibly manage the organization as we sharpen our roadmaps and our work, we need to continue to be intentional about our teams, hiring and costs,” he said.

The memo came ahead of an announcement — on Twitter — Friday that the deal to acquire the platform has been put on “hold.” The post came in response to a story noting that Twitter is claiming that spammer and bot accounts amount to just 5 percent of total users.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” he said.

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But then hours later, Musk noted:

Still committed to acquisition.”

“Twitter Inc estimated in a filing on Monday that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5% of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter,” the Reuters story said that Musk shared in his tweet.

“The social media company had 229 million users who were served advertising in the first quarter,” it said.

“The disclosure came days after Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, who has inked a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, tweeted that one of his priorities would be to remove spam bots from the platform,” it said.

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Former President Donald Trump also responded to the news regarding Musk’s early ‘on hold’ tweet.

“There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price especially since realizing it is a company largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts. Fake anyone? By the time you get rid of them, if that can even be done, what do you have? Not much?” Trump, who has launched his own social media app, Truth Social, said.

“If it weren’t for the ridiculous Billion-Dollar breakup fee, Elon would have already been long gone. Just my opinion, but Truth Social is MUCH better than Twitter and absolutely exploding, incredible engagement!” Trump added.

Earlier in the week, Agrawal announced the hiring freeze and what it entails.

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“At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company, we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals,” the CEO said. “In order to responsibly manage the organization as we sharpen our roadmaps and our work, we need to continue to be intentional about our teams, hiring, and costs.”

“Leaders will continue making changes to their organizations to improve efficiencies as needed,” Agrawal wrote.

Also, two of the company’s top executives are both exiting the company, head of consumer product Kayvon Beykpour, and Bruce Falck, in charge of revenue.

“The truth is that this isn’t how and when I imagined leaving Twitter, and this wasn’t my decision. Parag asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction,” Beykpour said on Twitter.

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“While I’m disappointed, I take solace in a few things: I am INSANELY proud of what our collective team achieved over the last few years, and my own contribution to this journey.

“Twitter’s DAU has grown by over 87% since Q2 2018 and our team has shipped bold and exciting new evolutions to the product (like Spaces, Communities, Topics, Creator tools, Safety controls) at a much much faster pace than anytime over the last decade,” he said.

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