Analysis: Musk’s Acrimonious Twitter Bid Sees Immortalization As A Business School Case Study

 Analysis: Musk’s Acrimonious Twitter Bid Sees Immortalization As A Business School Case Study

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Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter takeover saga has all the drama required to be immortalized in case of studies for future captains of industry, as the tycoon’s on-off pursuit of the social media platform and unique management style create a union like no other.

After months of trying to back out of the deal, Tesla Inc’s CEO made a U-turn by proposing to buy Twitter at the agreed-upon price, just as a Delaware Court was about to rule on the standoff.

“This is unique in many cases,” said Arturo Bris, Professor of Finance and Director of IMD World Competitiveness Center. “It is definitely a business school case study. Because it’s about poison pills, breakup fees, lawsuits, hostility.”

While there have been examples of acrimonious or hostile takeovers, such as AOL-Time Warner and Sanofi-Aventis-Genzyme, where the world’s richest man, who has long used his own Twitter account to encourage free speech, is trying to impose his will on another corporation.

Musk’s attempt to seize control of Twitter is “a gift to professors and students,” according to Joshua White, a professor at Vanderbilt University, who described the situation as “unprecedented.”

According to legal documents related to the battle, Musk wrote to Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal in the run-up to making an offer for the company, “Frankly I hate doing mgmt stuff.”

“I kinda don’t think anyone should be the boss of anyone,” he wrote, while another message noted he could “interface way better with engineers who are able to do hardcore programming than with program manager/MBA types”.

While the messages reflect his unusual approach to business, taking control of Twitter will entail managing it at first. Musk has stated that he will take over as CEO only until he finds a new executive with media industry experience.

“What is to come is unclear,” said Donna Hitscherich, a Columbia Business School professor.

One thing is sure: Musk will face extra scrutiny as he figures out how to run Twitter. Experts predict that whether it succeeds or fails, it will become an instant business school classroom staple.

“I’m really, really looking forward to the end,” said Bris. “So I can teach this case in class.”

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