Newly released messages between Elon Musk and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal show how their relationship appeared to be blossoming before dramatically deteriorating as the billionaire Tesla CEO tweeted, “Is Twitter dying?”
The series of text messages, revealed in a Delaware court filing, suggests the two men had bonded for a short time, in part because of their shared love of tech, after Agrawal reached out to him weeks before Musk announced its offer to buy Twitter.
The releases offer a glimpse into the careful negotiations that were conducted privately. The billionaire had invested in shares of the social media company at the time and publicly suggested ideas for improvement – or suggested starting his own social network.
That follows a high-stakes trial that begins Oct. 17 that will decide whether the world’s richest man needs to complete the $44 billion acquisition of the social media company, which he has agreed to. Musk could be fired as early as next week.
“Hey Elon – great to be directly connected. Would love to chat,” Agrawal wrote on March 27, the BBC reported. Files show that Musk liked the news and they started dating around 8 p.m. A few days later, on March 31, they arranged to meet for dinner near San Jose as the deal’s momentum accelerated.
A message to Musk from Twitter chief executive Bret Taylor said the proposed location in an Airbnb near the airport, which he said is home to tractors and donkeys, was “the strangest place that I’ve had a meeting lately.”
Afterward, Agrawal said the dinner was “memorable for a number of reasons,” adding that he “really enjoyed it.”
When news broke a few days later that Musk would be joining the board, Agrawal said he was “super excited.”
In one of the text conversations, the Associated Press reported, Musk wrote, “Love our conversations!”
As news broke of the Tesla CEO joining the board, Musk received messages from figures such as podcaster Joe Rogan asking if he would “rid Twitter of the censorship mafia.”
“I will offer advice that you may or may not follow,” Musk replied.
On April 5, Jack Dorsey, former Twitter CEO, described Agrawal to Musk as an “incredible engineer” but claimed the company’s board is “terrible.”
Two days later, Agrawal and Musk appeared to be getting along well and planning their working relationship.
“I’ve written high-performance software for 20 years,” Musk wrote. “I interact much better with engineers who are capable of doing the hardcore programming than with program managers/MBA guys.”
Agrawal replied, “The next time we talk, treat me like an engineer instead of a CEO and see where we get.”
The same day, Musk texted Agrawal saying he had “a lot of ideas” but should let him know if he was “pushing too much.” He added, “I just want Twitter to be awesome to the max.”
But two days later, on April 9, Musk’s fateful tweet — in which he publicly implied the platform was faltering — came and soured their seemingly evolving relationships.
Agrawal reportedly questioned Musk about his public criticism of Twitter in the texts, describing his comments as unhelpful and an “internal distraction.”
“What did you get done this week?” Musk replied less than a minute later. “I’m not going to join the board. That’s a waste of time. Will make an offer to take Twitter private.”
On April 11, Agrawal announced that Musk would not be joining the board. And three days later, Twitter revealed that Musk had offered to buy the company for about $44 billion — a deal Twitter agreed to on April 25.
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