Twitter Pain and Top Shareholder Elon Musk Joins its Board of Directors

The Tesla king and social media monster is a new boss at Twitter, where his ability to buy more stock has been capped at 15 percent

On Monday, it was revealed that Tesla CEO and low-earth orbiter Elon Musk had picked up 9.2 percent of all Twitter stock, making him the social media megalith’s biggest shareholder. On Tuesday, Twitter welcomed Musk with a seat on the board of directors, and capped his ability to buy more stock at 15 percent.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced the news via a series of morning tweets Tuesday.

“I’m excited to share that we’re appointing @elonmusk to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board,” Agrawal wrote. “He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on @Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon!”

After Monday’s disclosure that the Tesla and SpaceX boss had bought up all that stock, Twitter shares closed the trading day up 27.1 percent.

Including Monday’s stock jump, “Musk’s stake is now worth $3.84 billion — suggesting that he’s already seen nearly $1 billion in gains on his investment,” according to the Wrap.

Musk is a well-established, biting critic of Twitter, and remained so after buying up the shares. He recently took to the social platform to question whether or not the company “rigorously adheres” to free speech.

Meanwhile, it looks like Musk is contemplating changes of his own, and has conducted yet another Twitter poll for his 80 million followers.


While there is some speculation that Musk will use his majority shareholder position to act as an activist investor, Matt Levine of Bloomberg’s financial newsletter, Money Stuff, points out that Musk disclosed his 9.2 percent stake on Schedule 13G, which indicates that he does not intend to practice shareholder activism (and that he had necessarily planned to join the board, for that matter).

Writes Levine, “The ordinary way to disclose an activist stake of more than 5% of a company is a Schedule 13D; you are eligible to use the shorter and less informative 13G only if you have ‘not acquired the securities with any purpose, or with the effect, of changing or influencing the control of the issuer.'”

You can count on hearing a lot more from Musk: he is scheduled to speak at the TED conference next week, followed by Twitter’s annual shareholder meeting on May 25.

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