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‘What did you get done this week? I’m not joining the board’: Elon Musk’s messages to Twitter’s top management reveal heated negotiations

The messages, which were made public on Thursday in a court filing, shed additional light on Musk's interactions with Twitter's CEO Parag Agrawal as well as his discussions with the company's former CEO Jack Dorsey amidst the fallout between the world’s richest man and a social media giant.

As part of the continuing legal dispute with Twitter, Elon Musk’s private conversations with Twitter’s top management have now been made public. These text messages show how Elon Musk’s relationship with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal dramatically nosedived months before the social media giant sued Musk for contract violation.

The messages, which were made public on Thursday in a court filing, provide additional light on Musk’s interactions with Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal as well as his discussions with the company’s former CEO Jack Dorsey. One of the texts tells Agrawal that Musk would rather buy Twitter and take it private than join the board of directors. 

In a text message to Musk on April 9, Agarwal wrote, “You are free to tweet “is Twitter dying?” or anything else about Twitter – but it’s my responsibility to tell you that it’s not helping me make Twitter better in the current context. Next time we speak, I’d like to you provide you perspective on the level of the internal distraction right now and how it is hurting our ability to do work. I hope the AMA will help people get to know you, to understand why you believe in Twitter, and to trust you – and I’d like the company to get to a place where we are more resilient and don’t get distracted but we aren’t there right now.”

Responding to the text by Parag Agarwal, Musk wrote a series of text messages, “What did you get done this week? I’m not joining the board. This is a waste of time. Will make an offer to take Twitter private.”

Musk was contacted by Twitter board chair Bret Taylor a few moments later with a request to speak. Taylor is informed by Musk that “Fixing Twitter by chatting with Parag won’t work.” “Drastic action is needed. This is hard to do as a public company, as purging fake users will make the numbers look terrible, so restructuring should be done as a private company. This is Jack’s opinion too,” Musk said.

Following a couple of more messages, on April 13, Musk finally conveyed to Taylor that he would make an offer to take over Twitter. “After several days of deliberation — this is obviously a matter of serious gravity — I have decided to move forward with taking Twitter private. I will send you an offer letter tonight, which will be public in the morning. Happy to connect you with my team if you have any questions…” Elon said. Taylor acknowledged the message by Musk.

The messages also shed light on the interaction between Dorsey and Musk. Dorsey has previously said that “Elon is the singular solution I trust,” but has not publicly spoken since Musk was sued to cancel the takeover.

But it’s clear from the recently uncovered conversations that Dorsey has long desired Musk to play a significant role at Twitter. Dorsey informs Musk that even before Musk purchased a sizable share in the corporation, he had wanted Musk to join Twitter’s board of directors.

Dorsey wrote to Musk in late March, “I believe it must be an open source protocol, funded by a foundation of sorts that doesn’t own the protocol, only advances it. A bit like what Signal has done. It can’t have an advertising model. Otherwise you have surface area that governments and advertisers will try to influence and control. If it has a centralized entity behind it, it will be attacked. This isn’t complicated work, it just has to be done right so it’s resilient to what has happened to twitter.”

Musk responded to Dorsey saying that the idea was “Super interesting.” “It’s worth both trying to move Twitter in a better direction and doing something new that’s decentralized,” he further stated.

In July this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pulled out of the $44 billion Twitter deal, alleging that the social media giant breached provisions of the merger agreement. As per reports, the lawyers of Elon Musk claimed that Twitter failed to provide information about fake bots/spam accounts, which is integral to the company’s business performance.

Musk and Twitter stockholders agreed to a contract that included a $1 billion breakup fee if Musk failed to uphold the terms of the agreement. This included the likes of regulatory obstruction of the deal or a lack of purchase funds. The current litigation is the outcome of the same agreement.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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