Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man and the most important shareholder of Twitter, will now not be part of the social media service’s board of administrators, the corporate mentioned late Sunday.
The transfer capped a whirlwind week at Twitter that had been set off by Mr. Musk, 50. On Tuesday, Twitter introduced that the billionaire could be appointed to its 11-person board for a time period that expires in 2024. The invitation to hitch the board adopted Mr. Musk’s accumulating a 9.2 p.c stake within the firm, making him its largest shareholder.
However Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief govt, tweeted late Sunday that the scenario had modified. On Saturday morning, Mr. Musk — who’s a heavy Twitter consumer with greater than 81 million followers — instructed the corporate he would now not develop into a board member, Mr. Agrawal mentioned.
“We’ve got and can all the time worth enter from our shareholders, whether or not they’re on our board or not” Mr. Agrawal mentioned in his tweet in regards to the information. “Elon is our greatest shareholder and we’ll stay open to his enter.”
No purpose was given for the reversal. However Mr. Musk had been tweeting erratically all through the weekend, polling his followers with barbed questions on the way forward for the social media firm.
In a single publish on Saturday, Mr. Musk requested, “Is Twitter dying?”
In one other, he advised turning Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters right into a homeless shelter as a result of “nobody exhibits up anyway.” He additionally rattled off a stream of critiques of the corporate’s merchandise, at one level suggesting that Twitter take away adverts from the service fully. (Most of Twitter’s income comes from adverts.)
Underneath company governance ideas, board members are required to behave in the perfect fiduciary curiosity of an organization and its shareholders, which Mr. Agrawal identified in his tweet on Sunday night. He additionally mentioned that Twitter’s board had been “clear in regards to the dangers” of Mr. Musk’s deciding to hitch as a director.
By not becoming a member of Twitter’s board, Mr. Musk will even now not be sure by a earlier settlement he had signed with the corporate. Underneath a “standstill” settlement final week, he had pledged to not buy greater than 14.9 p.c of Twitter’s inventory and to not take over the corporate. That implies Mr. Musk might now preserve including to his stake within the firm.
A spokesman for Twitter declined to remark past Mr. Agrawal’s publish. In a tweet on Sunday evening, Mr. Musk didn’t instantly tackle the scenario with Twitter’s board however posted an emoji of a hand over a face.
Mr. Musk, the chief of the electrical carmaker Tesla and the rocket maker SpaceX, is famously mercurial. He has typically tossed off jabs on Twitter, trolling short-sellers of Tesla and insulting his critics. In 2018, after he mused about taking Tesla non-public in a tweet and inaccurately claimed he had secured funding for the transaction, he was fined $40 million by the Securities and Change Fee. Mr. Musk later mentioned he disagreed with the S.E.C.’s choice.
When Twitter revealed in an S.E.C. submitting on Monday that Mr. Musk had purchased the stake within the firm, the information was greeted with fanfare. As a prolific Twitter consumer, Mr. Musk’s funding seemed to be a vote of confidence within the firm, sending its inventory hovering that day by greater than 25 p.c.
Mr. Musk’s purchases of Twitter inventory additionally got here at a fragile time for the corporate. Twitter has been going by a transition since Jack Dorsey, an organization founder, stepped down as chief govt final yr. Mr. Agrawal, the chief expertise officer, was appointed in his place.
Twitter then introduced on Tuesday that Mr. Musk would develop into a brand new Twitter director with a time period on the board that was set to have began on Saturday.
Mr. Agrawal and Mr. Dorsey each made public feedback welcoming Mr. Musk to the board. Mr. Musk “would convey nice worth to our board,” Mr. Agrawal tweeted, including that there had been conversations between the corporate and Mr. Musk in latest weeks.
“Parag and Elon each lead with their hearts, and they are going to be an unimaginable workforce,” Mr. Dorsey wrote on Twitter.
The pleasant remarks had been underpinned by how all three males appeared to share comparable concepts. At numerous instances, every has talked about reshaping social networking by radically shifting the ability to customers and away from massive firms. Such a transfer towards “decentralization” would give individuals extra management over their social media feeds and theoretically permit extra free speech on-line. Mr. Musk, Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Agrawal have all been outspoken proponents of extra free speech.
Mr. Musk additionally tweeted that he was trying ahead to creating “vital enhancements to Twitter in coming months!” He didn’t elaborate on what these adjustments may be.
Then got here the reversal over the weekend.
“I imagine that is for the perfect,” Mr. Agrawal mentioned in his tweet on Sunday. He added that Twitter’s staff ought to “tune out the noise, and keep centered on the work and what we’re doing.”