- Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk is buying Twitter for $44 billion.
- The acquisition needs to be approved by regulators, and isn't expected to close until later this year.
- The news alone is already impacting Twitter's ability to recruit employees, according to a new report.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
The world's richest man is buying Twitter.
On Monday afternoon, billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk added another title to his resume: Twitter owner. Musk will pay $54.20 per share for Twitter — a grand total of $44 billion.
If the deal successfully passes through regulators and closes, which it's expected to do later this year, Twitter will become a privately held company once again.
But in the meantime, Musk's proposed acquisition is said to be impacting Twitter's ability to hire new employees.
Hiring managers are being told to record how many potential new hires turn down employment due to uncertainties about the company under Musk's leadership, according to internal documents from Twitter, seen by the New York Times.
Those potential new hires reportedly cited two major concerns with working at Twitter under Musk: his plans for moderating the platform, which are based on his free-speech absolutism stance, and what would happen to the Twitter shares in their offer letters when Musk takes the company private.
When contacted by Insider, Twitter representatives declined to comment on the report.
Musk has repeatedly referred to Twitter as "the de facto public town square" of the modern era — the digital equivalent of a public forum.
To that end, he's been critical of Twitter's decision to permanently ban former President Donald Trump from the site, following the insurrection at the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021, and he's repeatedly referred to himself as a "free speech absolutist."
He demonstrated the sentiment at least once in recent weeks: At his satellite internet startup, Starlink, he refused requests "by some governments (not Ukraine)" to block news broadcasts from Russia.
"We will not do so unless at gunpoint," he said. "Sorry to be a free speech absolutist."
In announcing his acquisition plans on Monday, Musk said he wants to, "make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spambots, and authenticating all humans."