Elon Musk proclaims himself ‘Chief Twit’ as buyout deal nears close
The Tesla founder also visited Twitter headquarters and is set to address staff, who are concerned about his plans to cut 75% of the workforce
Elon Musk is no longer a “perfume salesman” on his Twitter bio – now he describes himself as “Chief Twit.” The change comes as the billionaire prepares to close the $44-billion deal to buy Twitter. Musk has until Friday to purchase the social media company if he wants to avoid trial for breach of contract.
Recent signs indicate that the billionaire founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX does intend to go through with the deal, despite backing down in July. The turnaround came three weeks ago, when Musk announced that he would buy Twitter for the agreed price of $54.20 per share, on condition that a trial for breach of contract, at which Musk was called to testify on October 18, be called off.
This week, it was revealed that Musk and his team met with banks to discuss how to finance the $44-billion buyout deal. In those meetings, Musk and his team confirmed the deal was going ahead and that it would close before the Friday deadline. According to The Wall Street Journal, banks have already begun to turn over $13 billion of cash.
In addition to changing his Twitter bio, Musk also visited Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday. “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in,” he wrote in a message on Twitter, in which he shared a video of himself entering the building with a literal sink. “Meeting a lot of cool people at Twitter today!” he added.
Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
What’s more, the business tycoon is also set to address Twitter staff on Friday, according to a message sent by a directive to employees, which was published by the Bloomberg new agency. “Elon is in the SF office this week meeting with folks, walking the halls and continuing to dive in on the important work you all do,” the sender, who Bloomberg identified as Twitter Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland, wrote in the email. “For everyone else, this is just the beginning of many meetings and conversations with Elon, and you’ll all hear from him directly on Friday.”
Saving any last-minute surprises, the takeover deal is expected to be finalized on Friday. Musk will take over Twitter amid rising interest rates (which makes the buyout deal more costly), falling advertising revenue and slower growth – on Wednesday, Meta, the owner of Facebook, reported that profits had halved during the third quarter of the year.
The arrival of Musk is a cause for concern for workers, given he has announced plans to cut 75% of the workforce, which now numbers around 7,500. Musk also wants to increase revenue and explore subscription options. Staff who work in content moderation may be axed, as Musk has framed his interest in Twitter as about protecting “freedom of speech” – even if that leads to a surge in disinformation, fake news and hate speech. The Tesla founder, for instance, has said he is in favor of lifting the ban on former US president Donald Trump, who now spreads misinformation on his own social network, Truth Social. But it is not clear if Trump even wants to return to Twitter, given that would mean the end of his alternative platform.
Musk has also expressed an interest in turning Twitter into some kind of all-in-one app. “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” he posted on Twitter, after resuming his bid to acquire the platform. Musk didn’t offer any other information, but has expressed admiration in the past for the Chinese WeChat app, which evolved from a messaging service to a multinational platform with payment, e-commerce, health, subscription management and other services used by the Chinese in their daily lives.