Elon Musk is now Twitter chief executive

The billionaire has also become the sole director after completing his $44bn acquisition of the social media platform

Elon Musk's photo is seen through a Twitter logo. Reuters
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Elon Musk has appointed himself chief executive of Twitter, a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows.

Mr Musk, the world's richest person, completed his purchase of the social media platform last week for $44 billion. A second SEC filing showed that he has also become the sole director of Twitter as a result of the takeover.

His role as sole director is “just temporary”, he tweeted on Tuesday morning.

“The following persons, who were directors of Twitter before 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,” the filing said.

Mr Musk is also chief executive of electric-vehicle maker Tesla, SpaceX, brain-chip start-up Neuralink and is the founder of a tunnelling business called the Boring Company.

Having last week changed his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit”, he has since altered it again, this time to “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator”.

On Monday, he said Twitter was revising the way it verified users who have a blue tick.

Amid reports that this would involve a monthly fee potentially as high as $20, the hugely successful author Stephen King tweeted that Twitter should “pay me” and that he would be gone if that was instituted.

Mr Musk replied: “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”

“I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots & trolls,” he said.

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

There are plans to lay off a quarter of Twitter's workforce as part of what is expected to be a first round of job cuts, The Washington Post reported on Monday, citing a source.

Twitter had more than 7,000 employees at the end of 2021, a regulatory filing showed. One quarter of the headcount would amount to about 2,000 employees.

Meanwhile, Mr Musk denied a New York Times report about laying off Twitter employees at a date earlier than November 1 to avoid stock grants due on that day.

Mr Musk and the platform were given until October 28 by a US judge to finalise the deal, which has dragged on since April when he offered to buy the microblogging platform for $54.20 a share, or $44bn.

He tried to walk away from the deal in May after accusing the social media company of understating the number of bot and fake accounts on the platform, which started a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

The social media company sued the billionaire, alleging that he had refused “to honour his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests”.

A court filing in May showed that 5 per cent of Twitter's 229 million users were bots. Mr Musk has vowed to “defeat the spam bots” upon closing the deal.

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Elon Musk memorabilia auctioned by ex-girlfriend for $165,000

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Meanwhile, Twitter now has a new line-up of top investors. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is the second-largest investor in the new parent company, Bloomberg reported.

Regulatory filings show he moved about 35 million Twitter shares through Kingdom Holding, worth about $1.9bn at the $54.20 per share sale price.

Twitter’s co-founder and former chief executive Jack Dorsey rolled over slightly more than 18 million shares, or about 2.4 per cent of the public company, worth about $978 million at the merger price. That gave him shares of Mr Musk’s X Holdings I, which controls Twitter.

And the Qatar Investment Authority contributed $375m in exchange for shares of Mr Musk’s holding company.

Updated: November 01, 2022, 7:13 AM
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