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Twitter has fired two high-ranking members of staff as Elon Musk cracks the whip following his $44billion takeover of the social media giant.
Head of consumer product Kayvon Beykpour and general manager for revenue Bruce Falck were unceremoniously axed after the billionaire’s buyout last month.
Beykpour, who founded Periscope, admitted on his account he had not wanted to go but was brutally ousted by CEO Parag Agrawal while he was on paternity leave to ‘take the team in a new direction’.
A leaked memo from the under fire Twitter chief to staff noted how the tech giant needed the ‘right leaders at the right time’.
He announced interim GM of consumer product Jay Sullivan will take over both their jobs in a new merged role.
It comes as the social media firm launches a tsunami of cuts by stamping down on contractor spending, travel and events, marketing and real estate.
Agrawal also revealed all hiring would be frozen as the company goes through a rocky transition period before Musk takes control. Musk’s purchase of the largest individually-held stake in Twitter is being investigated by U.S. regulators after he delayed reporting the buy – and thus failed to provide sufficient warning that a takeover bid was looming.
Parag Agrawal (pictured) became Twitter CEO after co-founder Jack Dorsey, 45, stepped down via email, which he later tweeted
On Thursday, head of consumer product Kayvon Beykpour announced he would be leaving the company, saying Agrawal ‘asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction’
Beykpour will be followed out the door by Bruce Falck, Twitter’s general manager for revenue
He added that Sullivan’s ‘product vision, ability to inspire, move quickly and drive change is what Twitter needs now, and in the future.’
He added that inflation, the war in Ukraine and other factors had affected the market, in addition to Musk’s potential acquisition.
‘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,’ he wrote.
Things have been chaotic at Twitter since the company announced it was going to sell to Tesla CEO Elon Musk for $44billion.
Musk is set to cancel a $6.25billion loan to help with the buyout linked to his Tesla shares, now having the equity and preferred financing for the buyout, according to Bloomberg Law.
Employees have lashed out in recent weeks moaning about Musk’s purchase of their employer, with many claiming that the entrepreneur’s hardcore defense of free speech is ‘harmful.’
Things have been chaotic at Twitter since the company announced it was going to sell to Tesla CEO Elon Musk for $44billion
The deal is likely to be completed within the next six months, and has sparked widespread speculation Musk is planning a cull of 1,000 existing Twitter staff to boost profits.
Within the next three years, Musk anticipates making thousands of new hires, swelling the ranks to around 11,000 employees, up from 7,500 currently.
Much of the new talent is likely to be in the field of engineering.
Numbers at the company would fluctuate rising to 9,225 employees this year before falling to 8,332 in 2023. Then adding a further 2,700 workers by 2025.
On a company level, Musk has previously floated the idea of closing down the San Francisco headquarters in order to save money and that board members may also not receive a salary, shaving off another $3 million in expenses.
Numbers at the company would fluctuate rising to 9,225 employees this year before falling to 8,332 in 2023. Then adding a further 2,700 workers by 2025.
Musk anticipates Twitter’s total number of users will grow from 217 million at the end of last year to nearly 600 million in 2025 and 931 million six years from now
Elon Musk plans to quintuple Twitter’s revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028 In a pitch deck Musk claimed he would increase Twitter’s annual revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year
He has mooted turning the vast HQ into a homeless shelter in the vagrant and crime-plagued city, although it remains unclear whether Musk was joking.
Periscope founder who was on paternity leave and revenue boss are both fired
Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s general manager, said in his bio that his job was ‘leading design, research, product, engineering & customer service/operations teams.’
He’s being replaced by Jay Sullivan, who was performing his job on an interim basis while Beykpour was on paternity leave.
Beykpour previously was a co-founder of the streaming app Periscope.
Falck worked as the general manager of revenue and head of product for its business side. Sullivan will also take over his duties. He had been with the company since 2017.
Neither appeared to tweet in the wake of Musk’s takeover announcement, while Falck tweeted his appreciation for the CEO who would fire him a month later back in April.
The changes Musk makes are part of his plan to increase Twitter’s annual revenue by five times current levels to $26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year.
Advertising on the platform is set to fall to 45% of total revenue under Musk, down from about 90% in 2020.
By 2028, he plans for ads to generate $12 billion in revenue in 2028, while subscriptions are expected to pull in another $10 billion, according to the report.
Musk is said to favor a subscription-based model over advertiser funding, as it would make Twitter less beholden to advertiser pressure.
He has even suggested users could pay with cryptocurrency, including joke currency Dogecoin which Musk has long had an affection for.
Other revenue would come from businesses such as data licensing.
Musk has also tweeted about potentially monetizing tweets, although he has not provided specific details.
Musk also plans to see Twitter’s cash flow rise to $3.2 billion in 2025 and $9.4 billion in 2028.
Musk clinched a deal in April to buy Twitter for $44 billion in cash, in a move that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the Tesla chief.
The billionaire has promised to revitalize the company and expand the number of users by cracking down on spam bots and reducing the amount of moderation to facilitate more free speech.
Twitter has been condemned on banning conservative material it deems ‘harmful,’ including the verified contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
After the closure of the deal, Musk is expected to become Twitter’s temporary CEO it was revealed on Thursday.
Among his other goals, Musk expects the social media company to bring in $15 million from a payments business in 2023 that will grow to about $1.3 billion by 2028.
As one of the founders of PayPal, Musk is familiar with the world of digital payments.
Twitter’s payments business today, which includes tipping and shopping, is negligible.
It’s believed Musk may also want to introduce payment abilities to Twitter.
Musk also said he’d cut Twitter’s reliance on ads to less than 50% percent of revenue
On March 25, Musk tweeted a poll: ‘Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?’
A top priority for Musk is to eliminate ‘bots’ which frequently generate spam and run scams
Musk said that his take over of Twitter would lead to the take down of spam bots and provide all human users with blue check marks to verify their identities
Musk anticipates he can increase Twitter’s average revenue per user to $30.22 in 2028 from $24.83 last year, it added.
Revenue from Twitter Blue, the company’s premium subscription service launched last year, is expected to have 69 million users by 2025.
Users currently pay $3 a month to customize their experience on the app.
Musk hopes that plans to boost Twitter’s user numbers will also see more taking out subscriptions to Twitter Blue.
Twitter’s board members may also not receive a salary, shaving off another $3 million in expenses
Earlier in April, Musk took aim at the company’s lax remote working policies, saying he came up with the plan ‘since no one shows up anyway.’
Musk, in a now deleted tweet last month, suggested a raft of changes to the social media giant’s Twitter Blue premium subscription service, including slashing its price.
Other mooted changes include blue verification checkmarks for anyone who subscribes to Twitter’s premium Blue service, which costs $2.99 a month.
Twitter Blue, launched in June 2021, is said to offer ‘exclusive access to premium features’ on a monthly subscription basis, Twitter says. It is available in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
‘Price should probably be ~$2/month, but paid 12 months up front; account doesn’t get checkmark for 60 days (watch for credit card chargebacks) & suspended with no refund if used for scam/spam,’ Musk said in a tweet from last month.
Dogecoin is widely seen as a joke cryptocurrency, with one Dogecoin worth $0.127 as of May 7
‘And no ads,’ Musk suggested. ‘The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive.’
Musk also proposed an option to pay with dogecoin and asked Twitter users for their views.
On Thursday, Musk listed a group of high-profile investors who are ready to provide funding of $7.14 billion for his Twitter bid, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Sequoia Capital.
Musk has increased the financing commitment to $27.25 billion, which includes commitments from 19 investors, and reduced a margin loan from Morgan Stanley tied to his Tesla stock to $6.25 billion.
Musk, the world’s richest man, is worth $255 billion – but much of that money is tied up in Tesla stock. He is believed to have ‘only’ $3 billion in cash, Bloomberg reported last month.
He has already secured commitments for $13 billion in loans against Twitter shares.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal’s internal memo
Building Twitter and serving our customers around the world is important yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Our purpose is existential. During this time of change, it’s critical that we continue to strengthen our work through increased accountability and execution to make Twitter everything it can be. The priorities and decisions we make now will not only bolster how we navigate through this time, but also for the longer-term success of Twitter which I care about deeply. Some changes are happening to us and some we will drive. A number of these changes are difficult but they are right for Twitter and its future.
It’s critical to have the right leaders at the right time. Jay Sullivan, currently interim GM of Bluebird, has shown this powerfully. His product vision, ability to inspire, move quickly and drive change is what Twitter needs now, and in the future. I have therefore decided to make Jay the permanent GM of Bluebird. With this change, Kayvon Beykpour will be leaving Twitter. Kayvon has been an amazing leader and force at Twitter over the years with his founders mindset and deep passion for the service. Under his leadership, our product has evolved and grown meaningfully – I know I speak for all of us when I say we are deeply grateful for his tremendous impact.
Over the past number of months, I have also gotten much closer to the revenue product work and believe that here too, we need to make a leadership change. Bruce Falck will be departing Twitter and we will be opening the search for a new GM of Goldbird. Bruce joined Twitter at a critical time and has been a strong collaborator, leader and supporter of the revenue product work and our purpose. Under his leadership we rebuilt our ad server and anchored the foundation for evolving our ads business to be more performance based. In the interim, the Goldbird org reports to Jay Sullivan. His leadership will be very meaningful through this transition.
Please join me in thanking Kayvon and Bruce for everything they’ve done for Twitter.
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. More recently, the global macroeconomic environment has become less favorable, the war in Ukraine has impacted our results, and may continue to do so. Many other companies have been experiencing a similar effect. And, of course, we are in the middle of an acquisition and we don’t yet know the timing of the close. 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.
Effective this week, we are pausing most hiring and backfills, except for business critical roles as determined by Staff members in partnership with their HRBPs. We will also be reviewing all extended offers to determine criticality and those that should be pulled back. We are not planning company-wide layoffs, but leaders will continue making changes to their organizations to improve efficiencies as needed. As always, performance management will continue to be a priority at this time at all levels to ensure we have the strongest teams possible.
We also need to pull back on non-labor costs to ensure we are being responsible and efficient. We are reducing contractor and consulting spend, travel and events, marketing, our real estate footprint, on premise and public-cloud related infrastructure spend, and other operational costs. Please continue to treat Twitter’s resources as you would your own, and manage tightly to your budgets, prioritizing what matters most.
As promised, I will continue to communicate often and directly with all of you as we continue to move forward. Next week, will be holding a virtual offsite with our Global Leadership Team (GLT) to drive further cohesion and focus, and strengthen our collective plans to best support all of you. We will report out the outputs of that meeting to you.
While we are in a ton of change right now, historically, Twitter often is. What stays true is our purpose, Twitter’s importance and the criticality of our work, and how we come together. Thank you for your leadership, your focus and your support for one another.
(Source: The Verge)
SEC opens investigation into Elon Musk for his belated disclosure of Twitter stock purchases as founder Jack Dorsey quashes rumors and says he’ll NEVER be CEO again
Elon Musk’s purchase of the largest individually-held stake in Twitter is being investigated by U.S. regulators after he delayed reporting the buy – and thus failed to provide sufficient warning that a takeover bid was looming.
The investigation, currently in its early stages, could provoke a firestorm between the mercurial entrepreneur and the financial regulators, just as Musk is trying to wrap up his purchase of Twitter, approved on April 26.
It also comes amid frenzied speculation about what the world’s richest man will do to Twitter once he takes the reins.
On Tuesday, he said he would allow Donald Trump back on Twitter, in line with his previous declarations that he planned to err on the side of free speech rather than bans and censorship.
On Wednesday, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO, also denied recent speculation that he had been brought back to head the Musk-owned company.
With the deal to take Twitter private expected to take two to three months to finalize, speculation is mounting as to what Musk will do.
The 50-year-old’s first move towards buying Twitter was his purchase of a 9.2 percent stake in the tech company in mid February.
Elon Musk is being investigated by the SEC, according to the Wall Street Journal, after he failed to disclose his purchase of Twitter shares as required by law within five days
Musk bought his 9.2 percent stake in mid February, but did not disclose it until April 4. The value then rocketed, although it has been a rollercoaster ever since
But he did not disclose his purchase to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) until at least 10 days later, on April 4.
Any investor who crosses a 5 percent stake must file a form with the SEC within 10 days. It serves as an early sign to stakeholders that a big investor could seek to control the company.
Musk’s April 4 filing also characterized his stake as passive, meaning he did not plan to take over Twitter or influence its management or business.
The next day, however, he was offered a position on Twitter’s board, and a couple of weeks later, the world’s richest man had clinched a $44 billion deal to buy the social media giant.
The SEC investigation was first reported on Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal.
Musk, known for his candid Twitter posts, has a long history of skirmishes with the SEC.
Most recently, a U.S. judge slammed him for trying to escape a settlement with the SEC requiring oversight of his Tesla tweets.
In April, the Information reported that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Musk violated a law that requires companies and people to report certain large transactions to antitrust-enforcement agencies.
Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO in November, replaced by Parag Agrawal, has been broadly supportive of Musk’s moves and has been consulting with him over the direction of the company – most recently, confirming that he and Musk discussed reinstating Trump, and agreed it was the right thing to do.
Jack Dorsey, pictured testifying before Congress in March 2021, has denied that he wants to take over as CEO of Twitter again
When musician and YouTuber Charles Wienand tweeted: I predict that @elonmusk will eventually just ask @Jack to be CEO of Twitter,’ Dorsey replied: ‘nah I’ll never be CEO again.’
Asked who should be CEO, Dorsey replied: ‘no one ultimately.’
Mark Milian, Bloomberg’s technology editor, joked: ‘What if the title is Big Bird?’
‘Tempting,’ replied Dorsey, and when someone suggested the job title Technoking, he replied: ‘Taken’.
Another asked, more seriously, whether Dorsey would like the job.
‘nah. it’s time to roll the dice again,’ he replied.