Tesla CEO Elon Musk will not join Twitter board | News | DW | 11.04.2022

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk will not join Twitter board

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will not be joining the board of directors at Twitter as announced last week. Musk remains Twitter's largest shareholder.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently became Twitter's largest shareholder

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted that the company's largest shareholder, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, will not be joining Twitter's board of directors as the company previously announced.

On Twitter, Agrawal wrote, "Elon Musk has decided not to join our board."

He added, "Elon's appointment to the board was to become effective" on April 9, "but Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board." 

The news follows a weekend of Musk tweeting possible alterations to the social media platform. Among his suggestions was making Twitter free of advertising despite the fact that nearly 90% of the company's revenues come from advertisements.

Why is Elon Musk not joining Twitter's board?

Despite being Twitter's largest shareholder, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings revealed last week, it is not known why Musk is not taking up the seat on Twitter's board as he was offered. He has a 9.1% stake in the company.

However, Agrawal did drop a significant hint when he wrote the Twitter board "believed having Elon as a fiduciary of the company, where he, like all board members, has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward."

Tesla opens Giga Berlin factory in Germany

Twitter would remain open to Musk's input, Agrawal added. In response to the announcement, Musk kept his commentary muted, tweeting only an emoji with wide eyes and a hand over the mouth.

Some Twitter employees were anxious about Musk's newly revealed role as the company's largest shareholder out of concern that it would inhibit the company's ability to moderate content. Musk has described himself as a free speech absolutist before.

What was Musk's role on the board supposed to be?

Musk was supposed to serve as a class II director on the board with a term set to expire in 2024.

While Musk regularly uses Twitter, he has landed in hot water before for sharing information and opinions that have been viewed as improperly influencing the market. He faced a defamation case, which he ultimately won, in 2019 after an online argument spiraled out of control.

He had also used his Twitter account to post a series of playful or even controversial polls and other comments in recent days pertaining to Twitter. In one he asked whether Twitter was "dying," based on the comparative inactivity of some of its biggest accounts.

In another, which he subsequently deleted, he asked whether the company's headquarters should be turned into a homeless shelter, because, as he put it, nobody was turning up to work there in person since COVID work-from-home measures were introduced.

Musk is currently thought to be the richest man in the world with assets worth an estimated €288 billion ($313 billion), according to Bloomberg.

ar/msh (AP, dpa, Reuters)