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Twitter Freezes Hiring, Sees Departure of Two Top Execs Ahead of Musk Takeover

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


Things continue to remain in flux at Twitter ahead of billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover of the company, which has not yet officially happened.

According to a report by Bloomberg News, Twitter won’t be adding any new hires to its workforce for the time being, and may even rescind offers that have already been made, according to a decision by the CEO, Parag Agrawal:

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Some exceptions will be made for business-critical roles, as determined by Twitter leadership. The company is also pulling back on costs such as travel, consulting, and marketing, according to the memo.

Agrawal said global events, including the war in Ukraine and the supply chain crunch, have hurt Twitter’s business results and may continue to do so. The company isn’t planning company-wide job cuts, “but leaders will continue making changes to their organizations to improve efficiencies as needed,” Agrawal wrote. 

“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.”

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

“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.

“I’m proud that we changed the perception around Twitter’s pace of innovation, and proud that we shifted the culture internally to make bigger bets, move faster, and eliminate sacred cows.

“To the hard working (current and former) Tweeps out there who made all this happen: Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into this place,” the executive said.

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“I hope and expect that Twitter’s best days are still ahead of it. Twitter is one of the most important, unique and impactful products in the world. With the right nurturing and stewardship, that impact will only grow.

“And congratulations to @jaysullivan. I’m grateful the universe brought us together and that you took the leap to join the team and take on new responsibilities quickly. I know Bluebird is in great hands under your leadership,” he said.

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“Thank you to @dickc for taking the bet on @periscopeco and bringing us to Twitter in 2015, and to @jack for the opportunities and trust you gave me since.

“As for what’s next for me: well, I’m still on paternity leave! Looking forward to my first break since co-founding @periscopeco with @joebernstein, and sinking my teeth into something new eventually,” he said.

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The moves by Agrawal come as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may be launching an investigation into Musk over his purchase deal.

The agency “is probing Mr. Musk’s tardy submission of a public form that investors must file when they buy more than 5% of a company’s shares,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The disclosure functions as an early sign to shareholders and companies that a significant investor could seek to control or influence a company.”

“The Tesla Inc. chief executive made his filing on April 4, at least 10 days after his stake surpassed the trigger point for disclosure. Mr. Musk hasn’t publicly explained why he didn’t file in a timely manner. Mr. Musk likely saved more than $143 million by not reporting that his trades had crossed the 5% threshold, said Daniel Taylor, a University of Pennsylvania accounting professor, since the share price could have been higher had the market known of the billionaire’s growing stake,” the report continued.

“Investors who cross that line are required to file a form with the SEC revealing their stake within 10 days. Mr. Musk’s holdings topped 5% on March 14, securities filings show, meaning he should have disclosed his stake by March 24 under SEC rules. After March 24, Mr. Musk purchased roughly $513 million worth of stock at prices between $38.20 and $40.31 a share, according to a regulatory filing. The total buying spree made him Twitter’s largest individual shareholder with 9.2% of its shares. Based on Twitter’s closing price of $49.97 on April 4, the day Mr. Musk disclosed his stake, he likely saved more than $143 million on those trades, Dr. Taylor estimated,” the report added.

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