Ahead of Twitter’s imminent takeover by Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, its CEO Parag Agrawal replied to a quip by a parody account — @NotParagAgrawal — “I thought we were fired”, with a “nope! we are still here”.
The reticent Agrawal also launched into what analysts interpret as a dare. The embattled CEO wrote, “I took this job to change Twitter for the better, course correct where we need to, and strengthen the service. Proud of our people who continue to do the work with focus and urgency despite the noise.”
This comes when Musk has little doubt of incompetence going right up to the Twitter board. The battle lines have been drawn in his public tweets, as also gory annexes in the filings before the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
If the incoming owner thinks Team Twitter is no good, Agrawal would be pushing back, lauding his folks for working constantly towards the betterment of the company.
“Thank you but don’t feel for me. What matters most is the service and the people improving it,” he retorted in the face of a patronising tweet which read, “I feel for the current ceo of Twitter (@paraga) – he had all these plans and now lives with the same uncertainty of his whole team.”
Musk’s castigation Wednesday of Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s legal eagle and the one responsible for deplatforming a sitting US President, has hardened premonition that firing squads are not too far away.
The Politico reported that Gadde is distraught at Twitter selling out to Musk and when news came out she sobbed. Musk hit back that the platform’s (read Gadde’s) decision regarding a news story in 2020 was “incredibly inappropriate”.
He followed this up on Wednesday night with a meme that took fresh potshots at Gadde. Following his tweet, a number of Twitter trolls have hurled racist slurs and abuses at Gadde, 48, an immigrant at the age of three.
Gadde found support in present employees, including Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy. Likewise, CEO Dick Costolo.
Attacking Musk for posting a meme of podcaster Joe Rogan and Vijaya Gadde, Costolo wondered what was going on. He asked Musk as a reply, “What’s going on? You’re making an executive at the company you just bought the target of harassment and threats.”
In another tweet, Costolo put it bluntly, “Bullying is not leadership.”
Never one to back off, when Tweeple pointed to “a video mocking Twitter employees for being too sensitive was flagged by Twitter for sensitive content”, Musk replied with two emojis of “ROFL!”
He also batted for encryption at the level of Signal and plans to serve the 80 per cent who are neither far left nor extreme right.
Twitter is due to report its first-quarter earnings on Thursday before trading opens on Wall Street.