No 'Fire Breathing Dragon' is what Tesla CEO Elon Musk thought of the then-CEO of social networking site Parag Agarwal when he met him over dinner months before Twitter's $44 billion buyout. This was disclosed by Walter Isaacson, a writer who spent three years following Elon Musk for his biography ‘Elon Musk.’
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has published an excerpt of the book along with the details of Musk and Agarwal's meeting in March in which the world's richest man explains what Indian-origin Agarwal lacked.
"He's a 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 Musk vs Parag Saga
It’s worth noting that Bret Taylor, the then-chair of Twitter’s board, also attended this dinner meeting, according to Mr. Isaacson.
Musk and Agarwal exchanged cordial messages after the meeting, which were released in September 2022 as part of the lawsuit Twitter filed against Musk.
"Hey Elon - great to be connected directly. Would love to chat," Agrawal wrote in a message to Musk dated March 27, 2022. This was swiftly responded to with “Great dinner :),” by Musk.
However, only a month later, Musk seemed to be on a different tangent. Lounging in Hawaii, Musk tweeted: “Most of these 'top' accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?”
Ninety minutes later, Agarwal sent Musk a text message. He expressed his understanding that Musk was free to express his thoughts about Twitter but advised him that it wasn’t helping improve Twitter in the current context. While Musk’s response was sharp, asking Agarwal what he had accomplished that week, it was noted in the WSJ report as a significant critique from Musk.
This rivalry and discontent between the two prominent men continued behind the scenes and on Twitter until Musk’s tweet stated: 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."
A deal was finally agreed upon to take Twitter private in October. One of the first things Musk did was to fire Agrawal.
Elon Musk’s new biography is set to hit the stores on 12 September 2023.