‘The Bird is Freed’: Elon Musk Takes Over as Twitter CEO, Fires Top Executives

Elon Musk completed his $44 billion deal to take over Twitter on Thursday and in one of his first moves fired several top executives.


Elon Musk completed his $44 billion deal to take over Twitter on Thursday, tweeting “the bird is freed” in a reference to Twitter’s logo.

  • The social media giant’s new owner began his tenure by firing several top executives while vowing the platform would not become a “free-for-all hellscape.
  • Musk entered Twitter headquarters for the first time as owner carrying a sink – he later tweeted “Let that sink in.” Shortly after, three top Twitter executives were escorted out of Twitter’s San Francisco offices.
  • Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, finance chief Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal policy, trust, and safety, were all fired within hours of Musk’s takeover. The billionaire Tesla CEO will reportedly run Twitter as interim CEO for the time being.
  • Musk acknowledged he and other investors were “obviously overpaying for Twitter right now” but he believes the “long-term potential” is “an order of magnitude greater than its current value.” Musk has provided few concrete details of his plans for the social media company.
  • Twitter’s new owner plans to cut some of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, has pledged to limit content moderation, and emphasize free speech to create “a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.”
  • Musk reportedly plans to end lifetime Twitter bans, potentially opening the door for the return of former President Donald Trump to the platform.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • According to The New York Times, Musk’s Twitter acquisition takes tech deals to “another level” and signals “the moguls have been unleashed.” Author David Streitfeld wrote, “Silicon Valley moguls used to buy yachts and islands. Now they are rich enough, and perhaps arrogant enough, to acquire companies they fancy.”
  • CNN outlined the possible changes Musk could make to the platform, including “a big shift for content moderation” and unbanning Trump. CNN also predicted Musk’s “erratic and controversial history” will have an unclear impact on the company’s decision-making.
  • POLITICO assessed how Washington handled the news of Musk’s takeover. Rebecca Kern wrote, “a resurrected Trump Twitter account could have electoral implications, giving the former president a megaphone to again challenge election results, blast his opponents, and spread falsehoods.”



  • Fox News chronicled how Musk’s takeover made “the left lose it.” Twitter “blue checks” (left-wing political/media influencers) were uniformly dismayed by the takeover. Journalist Taylor Lorenz wrote, “It’s like the gates of hell opened on this site tonight” while liberal professor Jeff Jarvis tweeted “The sun is dark.”
  • The Washington Examiner asked if Elon Musk is “paving the way for a Trump return to Twitter?” While Musk has not commented publicly about reinstating the former president since taking over, his past comments and decision to fire Gadde, the top figure instrumental in banning Trump’s account, could mean a Trump reinstatement could happen soon. The Biden White House is rooting for a Trump return, believing it will help their 2024 electoral chances.
  • Breitbart cheered the firing of “censorship queen” Vijada Gadde, Twitter’s now-former head of legal policy, trust, and safety. Breitbart accused Gadde of running a “fanatical left-wing censorship campaign” during her time at Twitter.


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© Dominic Moore, 2022

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