According to foreign media reports, just hours after finalizing a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Elon Musk fired a number of Twitter executives. In less than two weeks, the company lost almost all of its senior leadership and about half of its employees. But behind the scenes, some members of Elon Musk’s “inner circle” are helping him take over and transform Twitter.
Tim Higgins, author of “Power Play: Elon Musk, Tesla, and the Bet of the Century,” says Elon Musk has an “inner circle ” that includes friends and family with whom he maintains close ties.
Higgins said the billionaire often draws these people into new business projects, some of whom have appeared on Twitter Inc.
These people are said to have been selected from Elon Musk’s inner circle of allies, friends and former colleagues who are helping to transform Twitter.
- Jason Calacanis: investor and podcaster, Elon Musk’s longtime ally
Text messages made public during Elon Musk’s legal battle with Twitter show that Jason Calacanis even expressed a desire to become Twitter’s chief executive. In a text message exchange with Elon Musk, he wrote: “Make me a game coach! Twitter CEO is my dream job.”
Although not quite a CEO, Karakanis’ Twitter resume once proclaimed him as Twitter’s “Chief Meme Officer” and “the world’s greatest host. According to two people familiar with the matter, within Twitter, Calacanis was listed as a software engineer.
At the same time, Calacanis himself bragged on Twitter about his work with the company, polling users on features they wanted to see and attending meetings with Twitter advertisers.
- Alex Spiro: Head of Elon Musk’s legal team
Alex Spiro first worked with Elon Musk in 2019, when he defended him in an alleged defamation lawsuit. Since then, Spiro has played a key role in the lawsuit over Elon Musk’s attempt to abandon the Twitter acquisition deal.
The celebrity lawyer, who has defended stars like Jay-Z and Eminem, now runs Twitter’s government relations, policy and marketing teams, according to several people familiar with the matter.
In addition, Spiro serves as Twitter’s de facto legal director. He was reportedly involved in the company’s layoff plan, supporting a 50 percent reduction in the number of employees.
- Sriram Krishnan: former head of product at Twitter and venture capitalist
Unlike others, Sriram Krishnan has worked at Twitter before. The software engineer left the company last year to join Andreessen Horowitz, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
Three days after Elon Musk completed the acquisition, Krishnan tweeted that he had only temporarily helped Elon Musk after the acquisition.
Neither Krishnan’s role nor his closeness to Elon Musk is clear at this point. He has been a staunch supporter of the billionaire in the past, calling him an “inspiring person and the quintessential entrepreneur.
In February 2021, Elon Musk appeared on a talk show hosted by Krishnan and his wife on the audio app Clubhouse, sparking online speculation about their relationship.
- David Sacks: Member of the “Paypal Mafia
David Sacks is a member of the so-called “Paypal Mafia,” the influential founders who were involved in the development of the payment app. Other members of the “Paypal Mafia” include Reid Hoffman, founder of the professional social networking site LinkedIn, and Elon Musk himself.
Since becoming a chief operating officer and head of product at PayPal, Sachs has been founding the venture capital firm Craft Ventures.
Now, Sachs is reportedly being pulled in (at least temporarily) to help Elon Musk take over Twitter. Sachs’ corporate title at Twitter is software engineer, and he has been assigned a proprietary company email address, people familiar with the matter said.
Sachs dismissed reports that he was actively involved in the Twitter makeover, tweeting that he had “no official role” but was “doing what investors are trying to do in Silicon Valley.
- Jared Birchall: Head of Elon Musk’s family office
Jared Birchall is the head of Elon Musk’s office and manages the billionaire’s personal wealth. He has been described as Elon Musk’s “go-between” and right-hand man.
The former Goldman Sachs analyst has been working with Elon Musk for more than six years, and in 2018 he was even listed as CEO, CFO and president of Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface technology company Neuralink, as well as a director of tunneling company Boring Co.
Birchall reportedly played a key role in securing financing for Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. In the past week, Birchall has also appeared on the team responsible for developing strategy within Twitter.
Spiro, Calacanis, Sachs, Birchall and Krishnan all did not respond to requests for comment.