Elon Musk Said Parag Agrawal No “Fire Breathing Dragon”, Fired Him Months Later: Report

Months before completing the buyout of Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk met Parag Agarwal, then CEO of the company, over dinner but found one key leadership quality missing in him. This has been revealed by Walter Isaacson, a writer who spent three years trailing the Tesla CEO for his biography ‘Elon Musk’. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has published an excerpt of the book along with the details of Mr Musk and Mr Agarwal’s meeting in March in which the world’s richest man explains what Mr Agarwal lacked.

“He’s a really nice guy,” said Mr Musk but one of his maxims is that managers should not aim to be liked, Mr Isaacson wrote, as per the WSJ report.

“What Twitter needs is a fire-breathing dragon and Parag is not that,” Mr Musk said after the meeting.

The book is set to be published on September 12.

Twitter’s then board chair Bret Taylor was also present at the dinner meeting, Mr Isaacson further said.

Both Mr Musk and Mr Agarwal exchanged cordial messages after the meeting, which were released in September 2022 as part of the lawsuit Twitter filed against Mr Musk.

“Hey Elon – great to be connected directly. Would love to chat,” Agrawal wrote in a message to Musk on March 27, 2022.

“Great dinner :),” Mr Musk responded.

But things went downhill in April when Mr Musk fire off a tweet from Hawaii, “Most of these ‘top’ accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?”

After 90 minutes, Mr Agarwal sent Mr Musk a text message: “You are free to tweet ‘Is twitter dying?’ or anything else about Twitter, but it’s my responsibility to tell you that it’s not helping me make Twitter better in the current context.”

Though the message was polite and carefully worded, Mr Musk shot back, “What did you get done this week?” It was the ultimate Musk put-down, as per the WSJ report.

The billionaire also said in another message, “I’m not joining the board. This is a waste of time. Will make an offer to take Twitter private.”

Mr Agarwal asked if he can talk to Mr Musk. Then Twitter board chair also sought “five minutes” to talk. But he answered, “Fixing Twitter by chatting with Parag won’t work. Drastic action is needed.”

A deal was finally agreed upon to take Twitter private in October. One of the first things Mr Musk did was to fire Mr Agrawal.

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