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How will Twitter change under Elon Musk? Experts discuss

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How will Twitter change under Elon Musk? Experts discuss


Elon Musk buys Twitter: While the entire world is speculating about how the world's largest soapbox will change under Musk, there are concerns among employees over layoffs, change in the company's direction, et al. Experts discuss with CNBC-TV18 what the Twitter deal could mean for Musk and, indeed, the world.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has struck a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion. The Twitter board has agreed to this offer by Musk, the world's richest man. Twitter had initially rebuffed the deal, but now its co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey has said that Musk is the singular solution for Twitter.

How does this help Elon Musk?

Influence could be one takeaway, he joins the list of global billionaires to own a media/content business. He has said he wants to promote free speech and unlock Twitter's extraordinary potential.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Manish Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of Invact Metaversity, Former India Head of Twitter, said this was the second time there's a change of guard in six months.

“Last year Jack Dorsey left Twitter as the CEO not in a very ceremonious fashion, the investors sort of pushed him out. Musk and Dorsey go a long way in terms of friendship, so clearly you see a lot of support coming from each other there," Maheshwari said.

"Another important issue is that Twitter on one side seems to be a mission-driven company committed to free speech and has policies, processes around that, but at the same time, is a listed company and so is subject to what the investors need -- a healthy, growing business with a P&L and so there has been that conflict. So in my view taking it private could be one way as it would go back to what Jack and Musk believe in -- around how do we build a mission driven company which is much more dedicated to free speech and not be bogged down by the needs of the Wall Street.”

Scott Kessler, Global Sector Lead of Technology, Media & Telecommunications at Third Bridge Group, said it is obvious that Musk is endeavouring to make Twitter easier to understand. "Right now there are lot of questions on some of the content moderation approaches and policies that the company implements. So on one hand it seems like you are going to see a Twitter that is going to allow a lot more users and content. However, Twitter has spent a lot of time and money over the last couple of years investing to ensure less abuse and harassment, so we will see repercussions there.”

Douglas MacMillan, Corporate Accountability Reporter at The Washington Post, said there is some concern among some employees as is usual in any kind of leverage buyout deal. "Typically what happens is you are going to have some layoffs and that is one of the big questions that employees were asking. Also Twitter employees really care about their products and ideals behind their products, so there has been some concern if you focus on what Elon Musk has said publically about restoring free speech on the site. So his mission may be at odds with what they have been doing for the past few years. However we also heard from some employees that they are excited for a fresh change. So potentially with some fresh blood and leadership who knows what will happen with management positions. The expectation is that the CEO will be replaced at some point."

Watch video for more.

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