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Twitter CEO pushes out executives, freezes hiring ahead of Musk takeover

The social media company said it might even pull back job offers it has recently made as it prepares to take on new debt from Elon Musk's $44 billion acquisition deal.
The Twitter headquarters
The Twitter logo is seen at its headquarters in downtown San Francisco on April 26.Amy Osborne / AFP via Getty Images file

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said Thursday that he was pushing out two executives, imposing a hiring freeze and slashing other expenses as the social media company prepares for an acquisition later this year by tech titan Elon Musk.

Agrawal, who was named CEO in November, announced the sweeping changes in an internal memo to employees. NBC News has seen a copy of the memo, and a Twitter representative confirmed that the information was accurate.

"While we are in a ton of change right now, historically, Twitter often is," Agrawal wrote in the memo.

He said he had made the decision to replace Kayvon Beykpour as head of Twitter's consumer division and Bruce Falck as head of revenue for the company. Both are leaving Twitter, the company said.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Beykpour said: "This isn't how and when I imagined leaving Twitter, and this wasn't my decision. Parag asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction."

Another executive, Jay Sullivan, will head up Twitter's consumer division and serve as the interim manager of revenue.

Twitter's board of directors last month accepted a proposal from Musk to purchase the company for $44 billion. The deal is expected to become final before the end of the year, pending shareholder approval and other hurdles.

Musk is borrowing much of the money he plans to use for the deal, leveraging Twitter's own assets and saddling the company with new debt. He has told banks that he's already thinking of ways to cut expenses, including executive pay, Reuters reported.

Agrawal nodded to the deal as one of many uncertain factors in Twitter's near-term future, along with a global economic slowdown and the war in Ukraine.

"And, of course, we are in the middle of an acquisition and we don't yet know the timing of the close," he wrote. "In order to responsibly manage the organization as we sharpen our roadmaps and our work, we need to continue to be intentional about our teams, hiring and costs."

He wrote that the company was pausing most hiring except for critical roles and may pull back hiring offers it has extended.

"We are not planning company-wide layoffs, but leaders will continue making changes to their organizations to improve efficiencies as needed," he wrote, adding that there would be cuts in consultant spending, travel, events, marketing, office space and other areas. CORRECTION (May 12, 2022, 4:23 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the last name of the Twitter revenue head who has been replaced. He is Bruce Falck, not Falk.