Twitter Loses Three More Executives This Week
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said last week that Kayvon Beykpour, the company's consumer product leader, and Bruce Falck, the company's head of revenue product, had been advised that they were no longer needed.
And this week, Elon Musk has shaken things up at Twitter HQ, with three more top executives departing amid the continued ebb and flow around Musk’s takeover bid. That's a significant number of the company's top voices who have left - and we may not be done yet, with the Musk takeover plan currently in limbo, adding to the strain and aggravating an already difficult internal situation.
According to Bloomberg:
“Ilya Brown, a VP of product management, Katrina Lane, VP of Twitter Service, and Max Schmeiser, head of data science, are all leaving the company, according to internal memos described to Bloomberg. All three chose to exit on their own, according to the memos.”
Musk announced over the weekend that his $44 billion takeovers of Twitter were effectively 'on pause' because he did not accept Twitter's official SEC reporting that fewer than 5% of its active user count was made up of bogus profiles. He has made a big fuss about the need for Twitter to combat bots and fakes, claiming that many accounts on the platform do not reflect actual people, an issue he promises to address once he takes over.
Current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal reacted to Musk's criticisms publicly, detailing how the company evaluates its phony user statistics. However, Musk has stated once again that he will not forward with the Twitter acquisition unless the network can substantiate its false user accusations. Twitter may find it difficult to achieve; however, quitting the transaction won't be easy for Musk, who disregarded various due diligence steps in his Twitter acquisition proposal to expedite the sale. Twitter has been irreversibly altered with so many top officials leaving. Either by choice or by corporate decision, the company's future will undoubtedly change, and Agrawal will either become a more hardened leader, established in his position if Musk pulls out of the acquisition.
As things stand, Musk appears to be locked into the agreement, with Twitter submitting a preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission today to cement the deal.
“Twitter is committed to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable.”
There is some legal precedent for Musk withdrawing totally because Twitter's SEC report was untrue, however, he would have to prove bad faith by demonstrating Twitter's purposeful attempt to deceive regulators through past disclosures. Since 2013, Twitter has reported a 5% rate of fake profile accounts, it seems unlikely that Musk will be able to claim that he was either unaware of the data or that they are expressly fraudulent. However, it appears that he will try to either lower his offer price or withdraw his bid.
There's still a lot to come, and more Twitter employees are expected to leave.