Licking boots, wounded ego and failed joke: how they convinced Elon Musk to buy Twitter

Licking boots, wounded ego and failed joke: how they convinced Elon Musk to buy Twitter

It all started with an ad that seemed like a joke… which could have been all along. A valve at 43 billion dollars, the same, which is nothing, not even for someone whose fortune is estimated at four times more.

On April 14, 2022 (13 days after Pisces Day, therefore), Elon Musk has made an offer to buy Twitter, Inc.before going surrender so thunderously early July, believing that the social network has “gave false and misleading information, about which [il] based on the conclusion of the acquisition agreement”. Twitter anger, which for its part announced legal proceedings: the trial will open on October 17 before the Delaware Court of Justice.

It is in this context that several tests have been made public, and above all 40 pages of private messages received and sent by Elon Musk himselfthat show the sequence of discussions that gradually germinates in him the idea of ​​buying the social network, before suddenly changing his mind along the way.

“I’m 100% with you Elon”

Reading the messages in question is quite amazing, and shows in particular the lightness of the entrepreneur in multimillion-dollar decisions. But also servility on the part of their environment and their interlocutorsand how badly Elon Musk takes any conversation that comes out of that tone of admiration towards him.

It all begins with a decision by Twitter to suspend the account of the propaganda outlet Russia Today, which shocks the defender of absolute freedom of expression who claims to be Elon Musk. It says find RT “entertaining” (“full of bullshit, but also of good arguments”) and ensures that “free speech is even more important when it comes to someone you hate”. Opposite, the former director of Tesla Antonio Gracias says to himself “100% agree” with Elon Musk “I am 100% with you”, an attitude adopted by almost all the protagonists of the future takeover attempt.

Another interlocutor throws a prank that will quickly find its way into the billionaire’s mind. “Could you buy Twitter and then delete it?” Elon Musk seizes the ball in the jump: “Perhaps rather redeem it and change it to properly support free speech…” He also tweets on the subject, tweets that win him again “I love what you just posted” of their interlocutors.

“Do you have large amounts of money?”

Two days later, discusses it with Jack Dorsey, the founder and former head of Twitter. “Yes, a new platform is needed, it cannot be something managed by a company”he tells Elon Musk. Think of a new open source and decentralized system, without editorial control, “a bit like what Signal does” (the secure messaging app). When Elon Musk tells him about “redirect twitter in another direction”, nods: “That’s probably the best option.” Jack Dorsey also assures that the board of directors of Twitter already hesitated to let the South African billionaire enter the capital, but not him, who found that attitude. “totally stupid and backward”.

The next day, Elon Musk is contacted in conjunction with Twitter representativesincluding its current CEO, Parag Agrawal. “Everyone is very excited about the idea of ​​you getting involved on the board of directors”, is launched by Egon Durban, one of Twitter’s major shareholders. When someone in the conversation mentions (specifying “I don’t know if that’s what you have in mind”) a proposed takeover of Twitter by businessman Samuel Bankman-Fried, Elon Musk jokes: “Do you have large amounts of money?” Another commenter responds: “Why don’t you buy Twitter? We’ll spin it for you, to establish a true platform for free speech.” Before complimenting him again: “It would be a great contribution to democracy.” “Interesting Idea”answers Elon Musk. “I’m serious. It’s doable. It’s going to be fun.”

Elon Musk flattered then upset

Twitter boss Parag Agrawal is also showing some enthusiasm. (welcomes the arrival of Elon Musk to the board of directors, extolling the merits of a “enthusiastic”what will it bring “many things”, “exactly what we need on Twitter”). In private, it also reassures him when a Washington Post article mentions employee concern on Twitter regarding his arrival: “I think there’s a large silent majority who are excited to have you on board, so [l’article] it is not representative. It was predictable.” At the same time, Elon Musk is a little annoyed by his state in another conversation: “Owning the 9% is not controlling [Twitter].”

In early April, Parag Agrawal, who spends a lot of time talking (and mostly listening) to Elon Musk, asks if he can announce on Twitter that he’s appointed to the board. Elon Musk agrees, but privately mocks this ad saying he has “I never wanted to join this board of directors”. What’s more, if he’s friendly with Twitter leaders in private, he doesn’t hesitate to criticize the service… on Twitter.

A double speech that ends up annoying the CEO of the social network : “You can tweet ‘Twitter is dying’ or whatever about us, but it’s my responsibility to tell you that that doesn’t help us at all in the current context.” Elon Musk replies in a shrill tone by asking him “what did he accomplish this week” (implied: nothing). A minute later, it’s the sudden escalation: “I will not join the board. It is a waste of time”, cut the billionaire. Visibly annoyed, he blurts out *: “I’m going to make an offer to make Twitter private.”*

“I’d be willing to jump on a grenade for you”

still continues dozens of messages and proposals made by executives and employees to Elon Musk for better Twitter (and for the same occasion, try to get the post from Parag Agrawal dont ils sentent bien qu’il est tombé en disgrace auprès de leur potentiel futur proprietaire), l’un d’eux poussant même la servilité jusqu’ write : “I’d be willing to jump on a grenade for you”. Messages whose answers still give the impression that the head of Tesla will say yes to everyone, and save the social network in which he believes he is from the pothole.

The ax falls a few months after the end of the messages made public: Elon Musk abandons his buyback idea, and accuses Twitter of having lied to him about the reality of the number of subscribers to the social network. The rest now belongs to justice.who will have to decipher, among those hundreds of messages, what corresponds to convictions and what is a false pretext.

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