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MaltaToday Midweek 2 November 2022

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15 maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 2 NOVEMBER 2022 WORLD ELON Musk has dissolved Twitter's board of directors - cementing his control over the social media platform. The multi-billionaire will be its chief executive after buying the company last week, ending months of back and forth over the $44 billion deal. He has moved quickly to put his mark on the firm, which is used by politicians and journal- ists around the world. The reforms he is contem- plating include changes for how Twitter verifies accounts, as well as job cuts. The Washington Post has re- ported that a first round of cuts is under discussion that could affect 25% of the company's staff. Top executives have already been removed, as Musk brings in high profile allies to the company. The latest move will mean that he is now chief executive of three companies. Along with taking the top role at Twitter, Musk is chief executive of elec- tric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX. However, he has indicated that his position at the social media company may be tem- porary. Twitter co-founder Jack Dors- ey has rolled his entire stake of 18 million shares, worth almost $978 million at the buyout price of $54.20, into the new private company, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. Dorsey, who left Twitter's board in May, supported Musk's purchase of the firm. "Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of conscious- ness," he said in a tweet after the takeover was approved by the company's former manage- ment team. Meanwhile, technology in- vestor Jason Calacanis who changed his Twitter bio to "chief meme officer", said he was "hanging out at Twitter a bit ... during the transition". He took to the social media site to solicit opinions on a range of topics from advertis- ing to video. Calacanis also asked how much people would pay to be verified, amid reports that Twitter could charge people $20 per month to keep the blue ticks that indicate verified ac- counts. Musk changed his profile de- tails on the social media site to "Chief Twit" after the takeo- ver. It has since been updated to "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator". He is now the sole director of Twitter, another filing on Monday showed. The nine ousted directors in- clude former chairman of the board Bret Taylor and former chief executive Parag Agrawal. Musk's takeover has drawn widespread scrutiny, as he signals plans to overhaul how Twitter has moderated the spread of information on its platform, including from sources such as state media, politicians and celebrities. Musk said the company would create a new council to govern those decisions and that no changes would occur yet. On Monday, Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, said that he had asked the government to review the national security implications of the deal, given the large stake in the company held by firms tied to Saudi Ara- bia, which has an increasingly tense relationship with the US. "We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in repressing political speech and impacting US poli- tics, are now the second-largest owner of a major social media platform," Murphy wrote on Twitter. "There is a clear national-se- curity issue at stake and CFIUS [the Committee on Foreign In- vestment in the United States] should do a review." Musk financed his takeover with his own money, a group of other investors and roughly $13 billion in debt financing. Analysts say that the increase in debt is likely to constrain the firm, which has struggled to expand its user base and not turned a profit in years. Together, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Kingdom Holding Company are the second larg- est investor in the newly pri- vate company, according to a filing with the US government. Prince Alwaleed, who was a major Twitter investor prior to the Musk deal, has tweeted the stake aligns with Kingdom Holding Company's "long- term investment strategy". Elon Musk is now sole director of Twitter after dissolving platform's board of directors The latest move will mean that Elon Musk is now chief executive of three companies. Along with taking the top role at Twitter, Musk is chief executive of electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX

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