Why Did Elon Musk Fired Twitter CEO? What Were the Reasons?

Elon Musk took decisive action on Saturday by dismissing Twitter executives, a move aimed at avoiding substantial payout packages following his recent acquisition of the social media platform, as reported by The Information.

In a strategic move, Musk sacked Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO, along with Ned Segal, the chief financial officer; Vijaya Gadde, the legal chief; and Sean Edgett, the general counsel, on Thursday, immediately following the finalization of his $44 billion deal.

Why Did Elon Musk Fired Twitter CEO?

According to a source familiar with the situation as reported by The Information, Musk sacked the executives “for cause” to try to avoid severance payouts and unvested stock awards, indicating he believed there were valid reasons for their termination.

Two individuals who are familiar with the matter shared with The New York Times that the executives were now considering their options.

The former executives were on the verge of receiving payouts of nearly $90 million, with Agrawal getting $38.7 million, primarily stemming from shares vested since his departure. Equilar, a research firm, informed Reuters that the payouts could be as high as $122 million.

Agrawal and Ex-Twitter Execs Sue Over Contract Termination

On Monday, Agrawal, Segal, and Gadde took legal action against the company, claiming it owes them over $1 million in legal expenses.

In their lawsuit, the former executives argue that Twitter had committed to reimbursing them for the “substantial” fees incurred in separate legal actions against the company, but has failed to fulfill this agreement.

What’s Next for Twitter?

Beyond the shake-up in leadership, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter opens the door for founder Jack Dorsey to reclaim some level of influence over the company.

Dorsey, who resigned as CEO in November and left the board in May, has no formal plans to return but has engaged in private discussions with Musk, offering valuable advice.

As part of his vision for the company, Musk has informed potential investors about his intention to trim almost 75% of the staff, a move that could bring substantial changes to every aspect of Twitter’s operations.

This plan was hinted at in Musk’s private text messages with friends, revealed in court filings, and was not ruled out during a call with Twitter employees in June.

Final Thoughts

Under Musk’s leadership, it looks like many current Twitter employees might find themselves out of a job. Musk has been pretty vocal about his plans to shake up Twitter’s content moderation policies, focusing on what he calls “free speech.”

This shift could essentially reverse the company’s efforts over the years to tackle issues like misinformation and harassment, aiming for more positive conversations on the platform.

This potential move isn’t just about Twitter; it could send ripples through the whole social media scene.

Even though Twitter is smaller than some of its rivals, it has often set an example for how the industry deals with tricky content, like when it took the lead in banning then-President Trump after the January 6 Capitol riot.