Twitter CEO explains why he’s shaking up leadership and firing staffers ahead of expected Elon Musk takeover: ‘We need to be prepared for all scenarios’

Elon Musk and Parag Agrawal.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal hasn’t been active on Twitter since the Musk buy.
Agrawal in a thread referenced Twitter’s hiring pause and said he expected the deal to go through.
“I won’t use the deal as an excuse to avoid making important decisions for the health of the company,” he wrote.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal hasn’t been very vocal on his Twitter account since Elon Musk mounted a bid to buy Twitter for $44 billion in late April — but that changed on Friday.

“A lot has happened over the past several weeks. I’ve been focused on the company and haven’t said much publicly during this time, but I will now,” Agrawal wrote.

In a long Twitter thread, he discussed Twitter’s veritable hiring freeze and said he expected Musk’s deal to go through, among other topics.

—Parag Agrawal (@paraga) May 13, 2022


The world’s richest man and Twitter’s owner-to-be said Monday that the deal was paused “pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” but added later he was still intending to complete the buy.

Musk has crusaded against spam bots and pledged to “authenticate all humans.” But as Variety pointed out, Twitter has been using the 5% figure in financial filings since it went public in 2013, and it’s possible that Musk is just looking for a way out with the way things are going.

On Thursday, Agrawal emailed staff and said the company planned to pause hiring besides vital positions, would potentially take back offers that were already out, and two top executives were leaving. 

And that’s just been this week’s drama. Agrawal was relatively quiet on his account through a host of online moments in the last few weeks, from Musk tweeting about his employees to Musk ideas for the company coming out

In the thread on Friday, Agrawal twice discussed answering questions about his decision-making of late.

“Some have been asking why a “lame-duck” CEO would make these changes if we’re getting acquired anyway,” he wrote. 

It wasn’t clear exactly to whom he was referring, but CNBC’s Scott Wapner replied to the first Tweet in Agrawal’s thread and asked exactly that, for example.

—Scott Wapner (@ScottWapnerCNBC) May 13, 2022


The answer, Agrawal continued, (just replying to himself) is “We need to be prepared for all scenarios and always do what’s right for Twitter.” 

Agrawal added that he and the rest of Twitter leaders would not leverage Musk’s impending ownership to “avoid making important decisions for the health of the company,” as tech companies like Twitter are in a “challenging macro environment” right now, while stocks plummet and peer Facebook freezes hiring.

At the end of the thread, he said that people can expect more communication from him but not “the loudest sound bite” and by thanking his existing staff. 

—Parag Agrawal (@paraga) May 13, 2022


Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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