Elon Musk no longer joining Twitter’s board of directors

Elon Musk no longer joining Twitter's board of directors thumbnail

Twitter’s largest investor, billionaire Elon Musk, is reversing course and will no longer join the company’s board of directors less than a week after being awarded a seat

April 11, 2022, 12: 03 PM

4 min read

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. This news came after a weekend of Musk tweets calling for changes to Twitter. Nearly 90% of Twitter’s 2021 revenue came from ads. Elon’s appointment to board was to take effect on 4/9 but Elon shared that morning that he would not join the board.” Agrawal wrote in a reprinted note originally sent to Tesla employees. “I believe this is for the best.”

Agrawal didn’t offer an explanation for Musk’s apparent decision. Musk, now the largest shareholder of the company, was a member of the board. He stated that the board understood the risks. He wrote that the board believed Elon was a fiduciary of company where he, as all board members, must act in the best interest of the company and all its shareholders.

Musk sent a few cryptic tweets on Sunday night, including one that said, “In all fairness your honor, my client had gone into goblin mode,” and another that said, “Explains everything.” A second tweet, which was later posted, showed an emoji that had its mouth open and had its hand over it.

He now owns a 9% share in Twitter. This raises questions about his plans to transform the social media platform and become its largest shareholder.

Musk’s 80.5 million Twitter followers make him one of the most popular figures on the platform, rivaling pop stars like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. His prolific tweeting has led to him in trouble. He has used it to promote his business ventures and rally Tesla loyalists. He has also used it for political purposes, as well as to question pandemic measures, pick fights, and even to defend himself.

In one famous instance, Musk apologized for calling a British cave explorer a pedophile. He had called him “pedo guy” in a furious (and later deleted) tweet. Although the Los Angeles jury eventually cleared Musk, the explorer filed a lawsuit for defamation. He has also been involved in a long-running dispute over his tweets with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk and Tesla in 2018 agreed to pay $40 million in civil fines and for Musk to have his tweets approved by a corporate lawyer after he tweeted about having the money to take Tesla private at $420 per share. Although that didn’t happen, Tesla’s stock price soared due to the tweet. His lawyer argued that the SEC infringes Musk’s freedom of speech rights.

Musk described himself as a “free-speech absolutist” and said that he doesn’t believe Twitter is living upto free speech principles. This opinion was shared by many right-wing political figures and followers of Donald Trump, who had their accounts suspended because they violated Twitter content rules.

But it’s not clear what has driven Musk’s Twitter involvement. Other preoccupations with Twitter include arguing for Twitter’s algorithm to be visible to the public, expanding the availability of verified Twitter accounts, and blasting an initiative for profile photos that uses non-fungible tokens, NFTs.

Musk has also called “crypto spam bots,” which search tweets for cryptocurrency related keywords then pose as customer support to empty user crypto wallets, the “most annoying problem on Twitter.”

Twitter’s CEO and other board members have praised Musk, suggesting they might take his ideas seriously.

Agrawal’s initial actions since taking over from co-founder Jack Dorsey in November have involved reorganizing divisions without making major changes. The company is far less popular than its social media competitors and has a long history of being behind them.

ABC News

Read More