Billionaire Elon Musk is already floating major changes for Twitter – and faces major hurdles as he begins his first week as owner of the social-media platform.
Twitter’s new owner fired the company’s board of directors and made himself the board’s sole member, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“On October 27, 2022, and as a result of the consummation of the Merger, Mr. Musk became the sole director of Twitter,” the company wrote in the regulatory filing.
“In accordance with the terms of the merger agreement, effective as of the effective time of the merger, the following persons, who were directors of Twitter prior to the effective time of the Merger, are no longer directors of Twitter: Bret Taylor, Parag Agrawal, Omid Kordestani, David Rosenblatt, Martha Lane Fox, Patrick Pichette, Egon Durban, Fei-Fei Li and Mimi Alemayehou.”
He’s also testing the waters on asking users to pay for verification. A venture capitalist working with Musk tweeted a poll asking how much users would be willing to pay for the blue check mark that Twitter has historically used to verify higher-profile accounts so other users know it’s really them.
Musk, whose account is verified, replied, “Interesting.”
Critics have derided the mark, often granted to celebrities, politicians, business leaders and journalists, as an elite status symbol.
But Twitter also uses the blue check mark to verify activists and people who suddenly find themselves in the news, as well as little-known journalists at small publications around the globe, as an extra tool to curb misinformation coming from accounts that are impersonating people.
“The whole verification process is being revamped right now,” Musk tweeted Sunday in response to a user who asked for help getting verified.
On Friday, meanwhile, billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he and his Kingdom Holding Company rolled over a combined $US1.89 billion in existing Twitter shares, making them the company’s largest shareholder after Musk. The news raised concerns among some lawmakers, including Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut.