At least 5 senior executives fled Twitter as its stock fell another 18% a week, rendering Musk bid even more expensive

May 18, 2022, 8:36 PM UTC

Twitter is shedding both stock and executives, as the Elon Musk takeover drama continues to shake up the company.

Musk might be seriously thinking about backing out of his $44 billion Twitter takeover deal, but several of the company’s higher-ups are done with the drama.

Three senior executives at the company, including two vice presidents, left Twitter this week, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. A Twitter spokeswoman confirmed their departures to Bloomberg; they reportedly left the company of their own volition.

Last week, CEO Parag Agrawal announced in an email to employees that two top-level company leaders in the consumer product and revenue departments were departing. Both employees later said on their Twitter accounts that they had been fired. Twitter shares are down about 18% in the past five days when the executive departures came to light.

Musk has said that a lower bid for the company is “not out of the question” and that he might renegotiate the takeover price. Speculation that he could pull out of the deal has already erased most of the gains since Twitter’s stock began rising last month, and a gap is widening between the company’s current value and Musk’s original proposition, with his comments about renegotiating rising in proportion.

Musk’s now contractually committed Twitter bid was worth $54.20 per share. On Wednesday, Twitter shares were worth $36.85.

The executive departures come amid a wave of hiring freezes and rescinded job offers as Twitter reevaluates its labor costs. In his letter to employees last week, Agrawal said the company was not on track to hit revenue and user growth targets it set last year, which included doubling its revenue and having 315 million “monetizable daily active users” by the end of 2023.

The CEO assured staff that Twitter was not planning on any companywide layoffs.

Twitter is also cutting costs for its marketing department, contractors and consultants, travel and events, and its real estate expenses, among “other operational costs,” Agrawal wrote.

The confusion surrounding Twitter’s management, and the uncertainty over what Elon Musk will actually do when or if he ever completes his takeover bid, has sent the company’s stock rolling in recent days, with Twitter down 20% from last week.

Musk has so far done little to help clear up the company’s fickle management situation. The prospective Twitter owner has repeatedly taken to the platform to criticize executives, eliciting strong reactions from current Twitter employees.

Last week, Musk threw the Twitter management situation into even more disarray when he announced that the takeover deal was “on hold” until he got more information from Agrawal about how many bot accounts the social media site actually has, claiming that the company could be vastly underreporting the number of spam or fake profiles proliferating the platform.

Twitter employees have said that Musk is treating the company “like a dog playing with a toy,” and many have expressed alarm over how the prospective owner’s actions are beginning to push down the company’s value, before the takeover bid is even completed.

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