Elon Musk fires entire Twitter board and makes himself sole director

US

Elon Musk has fired Twitter’s board of directors and appointed himself its sole member.

According to a company filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Bret Taylor, former chairman of the board, and Parag Agrawal, former chief executive, are among the nine ousted directors.

Mr Musk completed his $44bn takeover of the social media platform last week after months of legal wrangling.

The world’s richest man is considering major changes as he embarks on his first week as the company’s new chief executive.

He is thought to be flirting with the idea of asking users to pay for verification – known as the “blue tick” – granted to celebrities, politicians, business leaders and journalists.

Jason Calacanis, a venture capitalist who is working with Mr Musk, tweeted a poll asking users how much they would be willing to pay for the blue tick that Twitter uses to verify higher-profile accounts so others know it is really them.

Mr Musk replied to the poll saying: “Interesting”.

More on Elon Musk

In response to a user asking for help getting verified, Mr Musk tweeted on Sunday: “The whole verification process is being revamped right now.”

On the same day that Mr Musk bought Twitter, the billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia announced that he was rolling over his $1.9bn (£1.7bn) in shares, making him the company’s biggest shareholder after Mr Musk.

The move prompted concern among some politicians, including US Democrat Senator Chris Murphy.

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Musk’s first hours as Twitter boss

‘National security issue’

Mr Murphy has since requested the Committee on Foreign Investment to investigate the national security implications of his investment in Twitter.

“We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in repressing political speech and impacting US politics, are now the second-largest owner of a major social media platform,” Mr Murphy tweeted.

“There is a clear national security issue at stake and [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] should do a review.”

Shortly after closing the deal on Thursday, Mr Musk fired Mr Agrawal and other top executives. It is so far uncertain if and when he could begin larger-scale lay-offs.

Read more:
Ten people Musk could bring back to Twitter – by revoking their permanent bans
Super app or Wild West? The future of Twitter under Elon Musk

The Tesla and SpaceX boss has made several pronouncements since early this year about how to “fix” Twitter.

He has promised to cut back some of the platform’s content restrictions to promote free speech, but on Friday announced that no major decisions on content or reinstating of banned accounts will be made until a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints is put in place.

He later qualified that statement, tweeting “anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail”.

There is speculation that Donald Trump, the former US president who was banned from Twitter after the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, could be allowed back on the platform now Mr Musk has taken over.

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