Elon Musk is not joining Twitter’s board after all, CEO says

11 Apr 2022

Elon Musk at Web Summit 2013. Image: Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Twitter’s CEO said ‘I believe this is for the best’ and that the company will remain open to Musk’s input as a shareholder.

Elon Musk is no longer joining Twitter’s board of directors, the company’s CEO said in a message to its staff.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal shared a memo on the social media platform today (11 April), where he said the board had been “excited to collaborate” with Musk and “clear about the risks”.

Future Human

When Agrawal initially shared the plans of Musk joining Twitter’s board last week, he said conversations made it “clear to us that he would bring great value to our board”.

The discussions around Musk joining the board followed the news that the Tesla boss had bought a 9.2pc stake in the company, making him one of Twitter’s biggest shareholders.

In his statement today, Agrawal said Musk was going to be officially accepted onto the board on 9 April, but Musk “shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board”.

“I believe this is for the best.” Agrawal added in the memo. “We have and will always value input from our shareholders whether they are on our board or not. Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.”

There is speculation around why Musk is no longer joining Twitter’s board. According to a document shared by Axios, Musk would have been limited to a maximum stake of 14.9pc in the company if he became a board member.

Musk has also been critical of Twitter in recent weeks and shared a poll yesterday on whether the company’s San Francisco headquarters should be turned into a homeless shelter “since no one shows up anyway”. Musk has since deleted the tweet.

On the same day, Musk suggested that all Twitter Blue subscribers should get an authentication mark and said the service should be free of advertisements. These tweets have also been deleted.

The day before, Musk shared a list of the most-followed Twitter accounts and said most “tweet rarely and post very little content”. He followed up with the question, “Is Twitter dying?”

Musk has more than 80m followers on Twitter and regularly takes to the platform to make company announcements, such as Tesla’s move away from bitcoin and its move to Texas.

However, some of his tweets have also gotten him into hot water.

In 2018, Musk tweeted that there was “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share, but the SEC found his series of tweets to be “false and misleading”. This led to a settlement, fines and Musk stepping down as chair of the company.

On 5 April, the Tesla boss posted a Twitter poll asking his followers if the platform should introduce an edit button. The next day, Twitter confirmed that it is working on the long-awaited feature, but said it didn’t get the idea from Musk’s poll.

Elon Musk at Web Summit 2013. Image: Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com