Months before finalizing the acquisition of Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk engaged in a pivotal dinner meeting with Parag Agarwal, who was then the CEO of the company. However, during this encounter, Musk identified a notable leadership quality that he believed was missing in Agarwal. This revelation comes from Walter Isaacson, a renowned writer who extensively followed and chronicled Elon Musk’s life for his biography, ‘Elon Musk’. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has now published an excerpt from the book, shedding light on the specifics of Musk and Agarwal’s March meeting, during which Musk candidly discussed the deficiency he observed in Agarwal’s leadership style.
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Elon Musk characterized Parag Agarwal as “a genuinely pleasant individual.” Nevertheless, Musk espouses a fundamental principle that managers should not prioritize being universally liked.
Walter Isaacson’s upcoming book is scheduled for publication on September 12. It’s worth noting that Bret Taylor, then the board chair of Twitter, was also in attendance at the dinner meeting, as revealed by Mr. Isaacson.
Following the dinner meeting, both Elon Musk and Parag Agarwal exchanged amicable messages. These messages came to light in September 2022 as part of the lawsuit filed by Twitter against Mr. Musk.
According to the report, on March 27, 2022, Elon and Agarwal agreed to meet for dinner. However, the relationship took a turn for the worse in April when Musk, from his location in Hawaii, posted a tweet that read, “Most of these ‘top’ accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?”
Ninety minutes later, Mr. Agarwal reached out to Mr. Musk via text, conveying, “You are certainly welcome to tweet ‘Is Twitter dying?’ or express any thoughts about Twitter. However, I must emphasize that, in the current context, such statements do not contribute to my efforts to enhance Twitter’s performance.”
Later in October, when Musk took charge of Twitter, the very first thing he did was to fire the working CEO Parag Agarwal from his position.