Just a week after he became Twitter’s largest individual shareholder, Tesla and SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, has turned down a seat at the board of the social media company.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted the news Sunday evening.
“Elon’s appointment to the board was to become officially effective 4/9, but Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board. I believe this is for the best. 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,” Agrawal wrote.
“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.”
Elon has decided not to join our board. I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here. pic.twitter.com/lfrXACavvk
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 11, 2022
No reason was given for Musk’s abrupt change of plans, but the mercurial billionaire had been tweeting erratically over the weekend, polling his more than 81 million followers with questions about the future of the social media company.
Among the tweets—many of which have since been deleted—he suggested that Twitter simply remove its ads entirely, despite the fact that 90 percent of the company’s 2021 revenue came from ads. Musk also recommended that the company should consider giving the highly-prized blue authentication checkmark to just anyone who subscribes to the platform’s $3 monthly subscription service, Twitter Blue, according to TechCrunch.
In other posts, Musk, who has been one of Twitter’s loudest critics over the years, posed the question: “Is Twitter dying” and advised turning Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter because “no one shows up anyway,” the New York Times reports.
Most of these “top” accounts tweet rarely and post very little content.
Is Twitter dying? https://t.co/lj9rRXfDHE
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2022
On Sunday, he posted a cryptic tweet of an emoji with a hand over its mouth, which is typically interpreted as “shocked” or “surprised,” according to Urban Dictionary.
Twitter’s rollercoaster financial relationship with Musk began last week when the company revealed that he had picked up 9.2 percent of all Twitter stock. Twitter offered Musk a seat on the board on the condition that he could not own more than 14.9 percent of the company’s stock.
Musk tweeted last Tuesday that he was “looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in the coming months!”
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO last year, also said that Musk and Agrawal would make “an incredible team.” Twitter’s stocks skyrocketed more than 25 percent following the news on Musk’s shares and another 10 percent when his appointment to the board was announced the following day, according to TechCrunch.
On Monday, Twitter stock briefly dropped by eight percent in premarket trading before recovering quickly following market open, Daily Mail reports.
“You have to assume that over the weekend there’s been an awful lot of toing and froing, and it does feel like he’s been pushing the boundaries to see how far he could go,” AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson told Reuters.
“He was never going to want to be constrained in the way that Twitter clearly would want to constrain him as a member of the board.”
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives offered his take on the development in an investor note Monday.
“In our opinion, the Twitter Board and Musk could not come to an agreement around Musk’s communications with the public (various polls) over Twitter as he likely needed to take a more back seat/quiet stance as part of joining the Board,” he wrote, according to CNN.
He added that Musk’s relationship with Twitter may now become “a Game of Thrones battle between Musk and Twitter with the high likelihood that Elon takes a more hostile stance towards Twitter and further builds his active stake in the company.”
In a letter to employees, Agrawal wrote: “There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged.”
Now that Musk won’t be capped at 14.9 percent stock due to not joining the board, some analysts question whether he plans to buy more stock in the company.
Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media studies professor and author, tweeted Monday that “the prospect of Musk significantly changing how Twitter works remains slim.”
Vaidhyanathan added, “Musk can troll the company, drive up its stock price, drive down its stock price, hurt ad sales, drive employees away, and make life miserable for others. That’s usually his game.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.