Elon Musk has decided not to join Twitter’s board of directors, according to the company’s CEO, Parag Agrawal.
Musk’s appointment was set to take effect on Saturday, following his announcement last week that he had purchased a 9.2% interest in the social networking site.
However, Agrawal tweeted: “Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is Twitter’s largest shareholder, and the company would continue to welcome his input, he said.
Musk cryptically tweeted a single emoji just over an hour after Agrawal’s revelation. Since then, the tweet has been removed.
The Tesla CEO proposed a number of improvements to the Twitter Blue premium subscription service over the weekend, including lowering the price, prohibiting advertising, and allowing users to pay in the cryptocurrency dogecoin.
Musk also questioned his 81 million Twitter followers if Twitter was “dying” and if the company’s headquarters should be transformed into a homeless shelter.
He also established a poll asking if the letter “w” should be removed from Twitter, with only “yes” and “of course” as possibilities.
Musk was offered a position on Twitter’s board because the business considered it was “the greatest path forward,” with board members required to “act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders,” according to Agrawal.
Agrawal, though, said of Musk’s decision to decline, “I feel this is for the best.”
“We have and will always value input from our shareholders whether they are on our board or not,” he added. “Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.”
“The statement from the Twitter chief executive is, I think, quite telling in that he says ‘look, Elon decided not to join the board’. It says in the statement the board offered him a seat [and] it was Elon Musk’s decision,” said Laura Foll, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors.
“But the Twitter chief executive goes on to say ‘there will be distractions ahead but our goals and priorities remain unchanged. Let’s tune out the noise.’ I think this is the Twitter chief executive saying ‘we want to get on with running the business without these distractions’.”
“This is a very large publicly listed company. There are very strict rules around what board members, what executive members can say publicly. There has to be very strict controls and I think this is the Twitter chief executive just saying ‘let’s get on with it now, let’s run this company and Elon Musk will be a shareholder and we will listen to him along with shareholders’,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Elon Musk, as the company’s top stakeholder, owns more than four times Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s 2.25 per cent stake.
Last Monday, when Musk’s shareholding was revealed, Twitter’s stock rocketed by more than 27 per cent.
The announcement, on the other hand, has angered many Twitter employees. According to sources close to the company, there was concern about how he might affect the social media giant’s ability to monitor content in the future.
The CEO of Twitter began his statement with a cryptic line.
“Here’s what I can share…”
Clearly, he has left out a lot of what has happened behind the scenes.
Elon Musk’s appointment to Twitter’s board of directors appeared to please everyone. Musk seems pleased, while Twitter’s previous CEO Jack Dorsey, as well as Parag Agrawal, expressed their approbation.
For Twitter, the deal made sense. Musk also committed not to buy more than 14.9 per cent of the firm in exchange for a board seat.
Musk is so wealthy that he could theoretically acquire Twitter outright, and he could do so rather comfortably.
His choice to decline the offer of a board seat now allows him to take a larger share in the company if he so desires.
Agrawal’s statement has other hints. Musk was allegedly given a place on the board of directors, where he would have been required to act in the best interests of the company’s stockholders.
Is this a hint that Twitter wanted him on the inside, where he could cause less havoc?
Musk is a hugely powerful man, and his riches and volatility make him a potentially lucrative but also potentially risky investor.
He’s made it plain that he wants to overhaul Twitter. But, as a large shareholder without a board position, it’s anyone’s guess what he’ll do next.
(Adapted from BBC.com)