The short-lived tenure of Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal looks even more uncertain after he failed to reassure staff about their jobs and the platform’s future direction, following the board’s decision to sell out to Elon Musk.

Former chief technology officer (CTO) Parag Agrawal only took over the CEO role in November last year, after co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey surprised industry watchers by stepping down.

Agrawal quickly made changes, which included the departure of Twitter’s head of security and chief information security officer, and did not disclose whether the departures were voluntary.

Town hall meeting

Then Agrawal had to contend with vocal critic Elon Musk, who quickly moved from being Twitter’s largest shareholder, to being the actual owner of the platform.

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has naturally raised concern among Twitter’s staff, but CEO Parag Agrawal was unable to provide them with much reassurance during a company-wide town hall meeting that was heard by Reuters.

Indeed, Agrawal told employees on Monday that the future of the social media firm is uncertain.

As Agrawal listened to staff questions about Musk’s plans for the company, the possibility of layoffs and the board’s rationale for the deal, he deferred many questions as ones that should be asked of Musk.

Musk will apparently join Twitter staff for a question-and-answer session at a later date, the company reportedly told staff.

Donald Trump

Musk of course has said his main reason to acquire Twitter was to preserve it as a platform for free speech.

Twitter staff reportedly asked Agrawal whether former US President Donald Trump, who was permanently suspended from Twitter last year, would be allowed to return once Musk takes over.

“Once the deal closes, we don’t know which direction the platform will go,” Agrawal said, referring to the question regarding Trump. “I believe when we have an opportunity to speak with Elon, it’s a question we should address with him.”

Agrawal also told employees there were no plans for layoffs.

Meanwhile Bret Taylor, chair of Twitter’s board of directors, attempted to reassure employees that the agreement with Musk prioritised “operating continuity” until the deal was closed.

“I think we feel very comfortable that (the deal) gives this team the ability to continue to make the company successful in between signing and closing the transaction,” Taylor said.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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