Twitter Inc. said Sunday that Elon Musk had turned down his offer to join the social media company’s board, a dramatic turn of events in a week when the billionaire became its largest shareholder, and warned of further drama with “distractions ahead.” “.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said in a note posted to Twitter that the company’s board has had many discussions with Musk, but he hasn’t provided the reason for Tesla’s CEO’s decision.
Agrawal said the proposed appointment was due to take effect on Saturday, which would have prevented the world’s richest person from becoming a beneficial owner of more than 14.9% of Twitter’s common stock.
“I think that’s for the best,” Agrawal said in the note. “There will be distractions, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged.”
The announcement came so abruptly that Musk was still listed on Twitter’s board of directors as early as Monday.
Twitter shares are down about 4% in premarket trading on Monday. They rose 27% on April 4 after Musk announced his stake, but have since lost 7.5%.
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Musk, whose net worth is estimated at $274 billion by Forbes, responded on Twitter with just a face-hand-over-mouth emoticon. Tesla did not immediately respond to an email sent to the company seeking comment from the CEO.
Musk, who describes himself as a free speech absolutist and has been critical of Twitter, announced a 9.1% stake on April 4 and said he plans to make significant improvements to the social media platform. Read the full story
The disclosure of the stake sparked widespread speculation about his intentions, which ranged from taking over the platform outright to taking an active part in company decisions.
News of Musk’s takeover of a board seat caused some Twitter employees to panic over the future possibility of content moderation by the social media company, company sources told Reuters.
Musk, a prolific user of Twitter, has made announcements about his company and a variety of topics to his more than 80 million followers on the social media platform.
Before Musk took a stake, he conducted a Twitter poll asking users if they believed Twitter upheld the principle of free speech.
A day after becoming the largest shareholder, he launched another poll asking users if they would like an edit button, a long-awaited feature Twitter has been working on.
The Tesla boss also asked users in a poll whether Twitter headquarters should be turned into a homeless shelter, a plan backed by Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos.
On Saturday, Musk proposed changes to Twitter Blue’s premium subscription service, including a price drop, an ad ban and the ability to pay with the cryptocurrency Dogecoin.