Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal acknowledged the possibility that Elon Musk’s deal to buy the company could fall through in a series of tweets this afternoon, trying to explain why he’s shaking up Twitter’s leadership. Agrawal said that for the time being he is still “responsible for running and running Twitter” and that his recent changes are meant to “build a stronger Twitter” and help control costs.
“While I expect the deal to go through, we need to be prepared for all scenarios and always do what’s right for Twitter,” Agrawal said.
His remarks come after Musk tweeted this morning that his $44 billion purchase of Twitter is “temporarily on hold” over concerns about spam and fake accounts. It is completely unclear whether Musk can actually pause the deal – with Matt Levine Bloomberg says putting a deal on hold “isn’t a thing” — the comments were still enough to send Twitter’s shares down about 10 percent today, scaring off investors over concerns the deal could fall through.
While I expect the deal to close, we need to be prepared for all scenarios and always do what’s right for Twitter. I’m responsible for leading and running Twitter, and our job is to build a stronger Twitter every day.
– Parag Agrawal (@paraga) May 13, 2022
Agrawal now has two major problems: Musk, who is threatening to pull out of the deal, and his own company, both of which have now been rocked by the messy takeover deal and Agrawal’s newly announced hiring freeze and layoff of two top product leaders.
On Thursday, Agrawal announced the departures of Kayvon Beykpour and Bruce Falck, who respectively ran Twitter’s consumer and earnings products. He also announced that the company was “pausing most hiring and rehiring” and trying to cut costs elsewhere.
“I will not use the deal as an excuse to avoid important decisions affecting the health of the company, nor will any Twitter executive,” Agrawal wrote today. He said to “expect further changes for the better” while he remains CEO.
In a follow-up to his “temporarily on hold” tweet Friday morning, Musk noted that he’s “still committed to the acquisition.” This was announced by Twitter chairman Bret Taylor on Friday evening in a quote tweet that “we are too. We stand by our agreement.”
Update May 13, 8:10 p.m. ET: Added Bret Taylor’s tweet.