The dark side of Elon Musk as he executes a shocking plan to change Twitter/X’s destiny overnight

The dramatic twist of Elon Musk's calculated maneuver to close the Twitter (now X) deal early, and what it reveals about his ruthless side.
Sep 1, 2023, 5:21 PM UTC
4 mins read
The dark side of Elon Musk as he executes a shocking plan to change Twitter/X's destiny overnight
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Today, we’ve got quite the juicy scoop for you straight from the world of billionaire brinkmanship. Yes, you guessed it — it’s none other than Elon Musk in the spotlight again.

So, here’s the lowdown: Elon Musk, the genius behind Tesla and SpaceX, is not just a tech magnate; he’s also a master tactician when it comes to playing the high-stakes game of corporate chess.

Imagine, a multi-billion-dollar deal in the works between Musk and X (formerly known as Twitter), the social media juggernaut. Everything seemed to be on track for a smooth transition of power, with the company’s top dogs ready to step down gracefully as per the norm in such transactions. But that’s where Elon threw a curveball.

The Plot Unfolds

In a last-minute twist that nobody saw coming, Musk decided to change the game. He altered the deal’s timeline, effectively blindsiding X’s top brass. Why, you ask? Well, it all boils down to a jaw-dropping $200 million difference in stock options that would’ve been up for grabs had the deal gone down as originally planned.

Related / Can the new CEO restore Twitter’s fortunes?

The Motive? Vengeance

Musk’s motivation for this ruthless move? He believed X’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, and his team had played dirty. According to Musk, they artificially inflated the number of users who could generate revenue on the platform. This alleged deception led to Musk agreeing to a staggering $44 billion price tag for X just before the tech market took a nosedive.

Related / Elon Musk fires all of Twitter staff in India

The Audacity of Musk

Walter Isaacson, acclaimed biographer and author, didn’t hold back in describing Musk’s move as “audacious, even ruthless.” But in Musk’s eyes, it was a necessary step. He was convinced that X’s leadership had misled him, and he wasn’t about to let them off the hook that easily.

The Legal Tangle

Musk’s initial attempt to back out of the deal was met with a legal roadblock. X’s then-chairman, Bret Taylor, took him to court to ensure the deal went through. Months passed, with Musk trying to build a case that Agrawal and the board had misled investors. However, he eventually had to relent due to a lack of solid evidence.

The Final Blow

But Musk wasn’t done just yet. With his back against the wall, he still had a card to play. By firing Agrawal and his top lieutenants, he could deliver a final, crushing blow to those who had bested him.

Timing is Everything

To pull this off, every second had to be perfectly orchestrated. At precisely 4:12 pm PT on October 28, 2022, as the deal closed, Musk’s assistant hand-delivered termination letters to X’s top brass. In a matter of minutes, they were escorted out of the building and locked out of their company email accounts.

Revenge and Redemption

This tale of vengeance doesn’t stop there. Earlier in the year, it was revealed that Musk also sought to punish the law firm that represented X’s board in their legal battle against him. He alleged that they had overcharged the social media company for their services in the $44 billion case on behalf of shareholders.

Musk: Altruism vs. Revenge

Musk often portrays himself as a selfless visionary, more concerned with saving civilization and benefiting humanity than amassing wealth. However, this revelation hints at a different side — a side that cares deeply when he feels wronged and is ready to go to great lengths to seek justice.

The Takeaway

In the ever-shifting landscape of high finance and tech giants, Elon Musk’s audacious move to close the X deal early while simultaneously ousting top executives serves as a stark reminder that even the most powerful players are not above seeking retribution and using ruthless tactics when the stakes are high. It’s a cautionary tale for anyone daring to cross paths with this tech titan — beware of the consequences, for Musk is not one to let things slide when he feels wronged.

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