The conclusion of the Twitter purchase has not even been officially announced – but Elon Musk is said to have already fired the top managers of the online service.

According to media reports, the era of Elon Musk on Twitter began with layoffs in the executive floor. On Thursday, for example, the previous boss Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal were fired, the broadcaster CNBC and the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday night. Vijaya Gadde, the top manager responsible for fighting hate speech and false information, was also among those laid off.

Musk himself, in his usual fashion, hinted at the completion of the Twitter acquisition with a somewhat cryptic tweet. “The bird is freed,” he wrote without further detail. The Twitter logo is a blue bird – and Musk had always emphasized that he wanted to free the platform from restrictions on freedom of expression that were too strong in his view. Critics fear he could encourage hate speech and hate speech that Twitter’s teams have been fighting for years.

Manager escorted out of headquarters

Musk had repeatedly criticized Agrawal and the Twitter leadership in recent months. At least one of the managers was escorted out of the company’s headquarters, wrote the “New York Times”, citing informed people. According to financial service Bloomberg, it was chief counsel Sean Edgett. An official announcement about the completion of the approximately 44 billion dollar takeover was still pending.

According to the “New York Times”, it was initially unclear whether the deal had already been completed at the time of the layoffs. According to the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, the tech billionaire has owned Twitter since Thursday.

The transaction must be completed by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (11:00 p.m. CEST) on Friday, otherwise the deal will still end up in court. A judge gave Musk and Twitter this deadline to finally settle the takeover after months of back and forth. The stock was set to sit on hold from trading, according to an announcement Friday morning US Eastern Time — an indication of an upcoming announcement.

Musk wants to buy, but then doesn’t

Musk had engineered the takeover himself, but then tried to get out of the deal, citing allegedly false information about the number of fake accounts on Twitter. Twitter took him to court – and shortly before the trial in the state of Delaware, Musk agreed to buy Twitter at the originally agreed price of $54.20 per share. The fact that he made the cessation of the court case a condition caused uncertainty until the end.

It has been clear for days that Musk has come to terms with his new role as Twitter owner. He showed up at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday and described himself as “Chief Twit” on his Twitter profile. According to the US media, he wants to introduce himself to the employees there on a larger scale on Friday.

This shouldn’t be an easy performance for him after recent reports of major job cuts caused uncertainty among employees. He is said to have rejected information that he wanted to throw out three quarters of the employees at headquarters this week.

Feared brutalization of the sound on Twitter

Musk tried on Thursday to reassure advertisers and users who feared that the sound of the online service would be brutalized under him. Musk wrote in an open letter to advertisers that Twitter should not become a “place of horror” where everything can be said without consequences. The platform must be “warm and welcoming to everyone,” Musk wrote.

Musk wrote that he didn’t buy Twitter because it would be easy or to make more money. “I did it to help humanity I love,” he proclaimed. And he approaches the task with humility – and in the knowledge that, despite all his efforts, he can fail. Musk always justified the purchase with the desire to strengthen freedom of speech. Musk also said he would let ex-President Donald Trump, who had been banned after praising his violent supporters, back on the platform.

In May, Musk called Trump’s Twitter ban “morally wrong and just plain stupid.” A return to the influential network would come just in time for Trump to run for the 2024 presidential election. He himself was satisfied with the presence on his own Twitter copy Truth Social – but there he only has a few million followers instead of more than 80 million on Twitter.