Elon Musk will not join Twitter’s board of directors, company says

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and Twitter’s largest shareholder, will no longer join the social media service’s board of directors, the company said late Sunday.

The move ended a whirlwind week on Twitter sparked by Mr. Musk, 50. On Tuesday, Twitter announced that the billionaire would be appointed to its 11-member board for a term expiring in 2024. The invitation to join of the board of directors followed Mr. Musk who amassed a 9.2 percent stake in the company, making him the largest shareholder.

But Parag Agrawal, the CEO of Twitter, tweeted late Sunday that the situation had changed. On Saturday morning, Mr. Musk – who is a heavy Twitter user with more than 81 million followers – told the company that he would no longer be a board member, Mr Agrawal said.

“We have and will always value the input from our shareholders, whether they are on our board or not,” Mr Agrawal said in his tweet about the news. “Elon is our largest shareholder and we remain open to his input.”

No reason was given for the chargeback. But Mr. Musk had tweeted erratically all weekend, quizzing his followers with tantalizing questions about the future of the social media company.

In one post on Saturday, Mr. musk early“Is Twitter Dead?”

In another, he suggested turning Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter because “no one is showing up anyway.” He also rattled a flood of criticisms of the company’s products, at one point suggesting that Twitter Remove ads completely out of service. (Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising.)

Under the principles of corporate governance, board members are required to act in the best fiduciary interest of a company and its shareholders, which Mr Agrawal pointed out in his tweet on Sunday evening. He also said Twitter’s board of directors had been “clear about the risks” of Mr Musk’s decision to step down as director.

Also, by not joining Twitter’s board, Mr. Musk is no longer bound by a previous agreement he had with the company. Under a “standstill” agreement, he promised last week not to buy more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s shares and not to take over the company. That suggests Mr. Musk may now continue to increase his stake in the company.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment alongside Mr Agrawal’s post. In a tweet on Sunday night, Mr. Musk did not directly address the situation with the Twitter sign, but instead put an emoji of a hand on a face.

Mr. Musk, the leader of the electric car maker Tesla and the rocket maker SpaceX, is famously mercurial. He has often thrown out jabs on Twitter, trolled Tesla short-sellers and insulted his critics. In 2018, after he mused in a tweet about taking Tesla private and falsely claiming he secured funding for the transaction, he was fined $40 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Musk later said he disagreed with the SEC’s decision.

When Twitter revealed in an SEC filing Monday that Mr. Musk had bought the stake in the company, the news was met with fanfare. As a prolific Twitter user, Mr. Musk’s investment seemed like a vote of confidence in the company, pushing his stock up more than 25 percent that day.

Musk’s purchases of Twitter stock also came at a delicate time for the company. Twitter has been going through a transition since Jack Dorsey, a company founder, stepped down as chief executive last year. Mr Agrawal, the Chief Technology Officer, was appointed in his place.

Twitter then announced on Tuesday that Mr. Musk would become a new Twitter executive with a term on the board that would begin on Saturday.

Mr. Agrawal and Mr. Dorsey both made public comments and welcomed Mr. Musk to the board. Mr. Musk “would be of great value to our board,” tweeted Mr. Agrawal, adding that there had been talks between the company and Mr. Musk in recent weeks.

“Parag and Elon both lead with their hearts, and they will be an incredible team,” Mr Dorsey wrote on Twitter.

The friendly comments were substantiated by the way all three men seemed to share similar ideas. At different times, each of them has talked about reshaping social networks by radically shifting power to users and away from big corporations. Such a move toward “decentralization” would give people more control over their social media feeds and theoretically allow more freedom of expression online. Mr. Musk, Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Agrawal have all been outspoken advocates for greater freedom of speech.

Mr. Musk also tweeted that he was looking forward to making “significant improvements to Twitter” in the coming months! He did not elaborate on what those changes might be.

Then came the turning point over the weekend.

“I believe this is the best,” Mr Agrawal said in his tweet on Sunday. He added that Twitter’s employees need to “mute the noise and stay focused on the job and what we’re doing.”

This post Elon Musk will not join Twitter’s board of directors, company says

was original published at “https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/10/technology/elon-musk-twitter-board.html”