Shortly after changing his bio to “Chief Twit,” Elon Musk posted a video of himself walking into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.
“Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!” he wrote. The video depicted him walking into the office holding a sink, referencing a years-old, stale meme, as is par for the course with him.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that Musk plans to lay off 75% of Twitter’s staff if he takes over. So, it’s a bold gesture to walk in with a kitchen sink when you’re likely going to axe 5,600 jobs.
Why is Musk at Twitter HQ? Per instructions from Judge Kathaleen McCormick, who is presiding over the Twitter v. Musk case, the billionaire entrepreneur has until this Friday to close his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Musk previously had tried to back out of the deal, stating that Twitter had lied about the amount of bots on the platform. If Musk’s presence at Twitter HQ is any indication, it looks like he’s getting close to making this thing final.
Musk reportedly spoke with bankers on Friday as part of the final steps before getting the cash. These banks are said to be providing $13 billion in debt financing to help with the deal. According to Bloomberg, Twitter’s head of people and chief marketing officer Leslie Berland sent a memo to staff saying that Musk will address staff directly on Friday, the deadline for the deal to close.
Musk was dead set on getting out of this deal, so why the sudden change of heart? A few weeks before court proceedings were to begin, the court published a trove of Musk’s texts about the deal, uncovered through the discovery process. In the messages, his certainty about the deal waned as economic conditions worsened around the world.
Another twist came when Judge McCormick approved Twitter’s request to review texts from Musk’s inner circle related to a mysterious anonymous email that Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro received on May 6. In the email, which was sent through ProtonMail, the sender identified themself only as a former Twitter executive and asked Musk’s team to follow up on a different platform. So, Musk could be going through with the deal because he’s hiding something — or, he could have just realized he was definitely not going to win at trial. Perhaps the rising stock price of Twitter helped seal the deal, too. Right now, the stock is trading at about $53 per share, the highest it has been all year.
Then again, this whole deal has been a complete fiasco since the moment Musk announced his intent to buy the platform in April, so let’s not count our chickens until the SEC filing has hatched.
If you work at Twitter and have inside information, or want to anonymously share your reaction to Musk’s potential takeover, DM me on Signal, an encrypted messaging app, at 929 593 0227.