Musk Outwitted Twitter Execs Out of $200M Payday

Elon Musk timed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter early to cease CEO Parag Agrawal and different prime executives of the social media platform from accumulating $200 million in inventory choices, in response to an excerpt of an upcoming biography on Musk published in The Wall Street Journal.

“There’s a 200 million [dollar] differential in the cookie jar between closing tonight and doing it tomorrow morning,” Musk defined to Walter Isaacson, writer of the biography “Elon Musk” (Simon & Schuster, 2023) popping out on Sept. 12.

Musk wished to impart retribution on Agrawal’s crew as a result of he believed they fraudulently inflated Twitter’s monetizable customers, and know-how valuations started to plummet within the months earlier than he closed on the deal on Oct. 28, 222.

“It was audacious, even ruthless,” writes acclaimed writer Isaacson, who additionally penned biographies on Steve Jobs and Henry Kissinger, and who Musk tapped to jot down his personal life story. “But it was justified in Musk’s mind because of his conviction that Twitter’s management had misled him.”

To pull it off, at exactly 4:12 p.m. Pacific time, proper when the deal closed, Musk’s assistant delivered letters of dismissal “for cause” to Agrawal and his prime three lieutenants.

Within six minutes, the 4 had been escorted from the constructing, their electronic mail accounts terminated.

M&A ‘Jujitsu’

“Agrawal had his letter of resignation, citing the change of control, ready to send,” Isaacson writes of the “jujitsu maneuver.”

“But when his Twitter email was cut off, it took him a few minutes to get the document into his Gmail message. By that point, he had already been fired by Musk.”

Musk informed Isaacson: “He tried to resign.”

“But we beat him,” added Musk’s “gunslinging” lawyer Alex Spiro.

Once he wrested management of Twitter, now generally known as X, Musk shortly grew to become disgusted with its flagrant woke insurance policies.

Leslie Berland, former chief advertising and marketing and other people officer at Twitter, till she was fired by Musk, tells Isaacson: “We were definitely very high-empathy, very caring about inclusion and diversity; everyone needs to feel care here.”

Monthly Mental ‘Day of Rest’

“Psychological safety” was a phrase generally used at Twitter, which had instituted a everlasting work-from-home coverage and a month-to-month psychological “day of rest.”

Musk recoiled bitterly from all of this, in response to the biography:

“He considered it to be the enemy of urgency, progress, orbital velocity. His preferred buzzword was ‘hardcore.’ Discomfort, he believed, was a good thing. It was a weapon against the scourge of complacency. Vacations, work-life balance and days of ‘mental rest’ were not his thing.”

The sight of the long-lasting Twitter blue chook emblem all over the place additionally repulsed him.

“He is not a chirpy person,” Isaacson writes. “He relishes dark and stormy drama rather than chipper and light chattiness.”

“‘All these damn birds have to go,’” Musk ordered.

Musk was additionally revolted by indicators on the restrooms saying, “Gender diversity is welcome here,” and Twitter T-shirts emblazoned with the phrases “Stay woke.”

‘Bullshit Detector’

In one other shocking plot twist to the Twitter takeover, accused FTX cryptocurrency fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried initially wished to speculate $5 billion within the deal.

On a half-hour name Bankman-Fried made to Musk in May, the 2 took an prompt dislike to 1 one other.

“My bullshit detector went off like a red alert on a Geiger counter,” Musk says within the e book.

Gushing on about himself, Musk recollects of Bankman-Fried, “He was talking like he was on speed or Adderall, a mile a minute. I thought he was supposed to be asking me about the deal, but he kept telling me the things he was doing. And I was thinking, ‘Dude, calm down.’”

For his half, Bankman-Fried thought Musk was nuts.

‘For Democracy’

Musk speaks at size about how he wish to flip X into “the everything app” and the way former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison agreed with Musk on the social media platform’s probably vital position in American democracy.

Musk recollects Ellison telling him: “It’s a real-time news service, and there’s nothing really like it. If you agree it’s important for a democracy, then I thought it was worth making an investment in it.”

As for what the risky billionaire’s subsequent shocking transfer may very well be, the 688-page e book hints that even Musk can’t be certain.

Being in “war,” Musk stated he informed Shivon Zilis, mom of two of his youngsters and supervisor of his Neuralink mind implant firm, is “part of my default settings. I guess I’ve always wanted to push my chips back on the table or play the next level of the game.”

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