Musk’s first day owning Twitter leads to chaos and possible hoax

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

[Editor’s note: After CNBC published details of an interview with people who claimed to be fired employees of Twitter, several reports emerged suggesting it was a hoax. CNBC could not confirm the identities of the individuals.]

On Elon Musk̵[ads1]7;s first day in control Twitter, a person who walked out of the company’s San Francisco headquarters and identified himself as a computer engineer there, said they were just laid off. CNBC was not able to immediately confirm the identity of that person and another who made a similar claim.

A Twitter employee, who was waiting for information about layoffs or projects, told CNBC they were in the dark for the most part. Musk met with relatively low-ranking engineering executives, this person noted — a welcome gesture for some. Press reports before the deal closed said Musk had planned job cuts as deep as 75% of the workforce.

Twitter did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the layoffs.

Musk finally took over the company on Thursday, ending a months-long legal saga. Billionaire Tesla and the SpaceX chief initially agreed to buy the company for $44 billion, but soon after tried to back out of the deal because he claimed Twitter was not forthcoming enough about spam accounts on the platform. Twitter has denied that and went to court to try to get Musk to complete the deal.

Before the original trial earlier this month, Musk once again agreed to end the deal. The judge gave Musk until Friday at 5 p.m. to end the deal or set a new trial date.

On Thursday, several top executives left the company, including CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal, CNBC’s David Faber reported. Twitter’s head of legal policy, trust and security Vijaya Gadde was also fired.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

—CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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