Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man and the largest shareholder of Twitter, will not be a 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 can 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.
But Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief government, 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 — advised the corporate he would not turn into a board member, Mr. Agrawal mentioned.
“We have and will always value input from our shareholders, whether they are on our board or not” Mr. Agrawal mentioned in his tweet in regards to the information. “Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.”
No purpose was given for the reversal. But 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 one put up on Saturday, Mr. Musk requested, “Is Twitter dying?”
In one other, he urged turning Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters right into a homeless shelter as a result of “no one shows up anyway.” He additionally rattled off a stream of critiques of the corporate’s merchandise, at one level suggesting that Twitter take away advertisements from the service completely. (Most of Twitter’s income comes from advertisements.)
Under company governance rules, 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 about the risks” of Mr. Musk’s deciding to hitch as a director.
By not becoming a member of Twitter’s board, Mr. Musk may also not be sure by a earlier settlement he had signed with the corporate. Under 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 suggests Mr. Musk might now hold including to his stake within the firm.
A spokesman for Twitter declined to remark past Mr. Agrawal’s put up. In a tweet on Sunday evening, Mr. Musk didn’t straight deal with 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 usually 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 Exchange Commission. Mr. Musk later mentioned he disagreed with the S.E.C.’s determination.
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 gave the impression 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 means of a transition since Jack Dorsey, an organization founder, stepped down as chief government final yr. Mr. Agrawal, the chief know-how officer, was appointed in his place.
Twitter then introduced on Tuesday that Mr. Musk would turn 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 bring great value to our board,” Mr. Agrawal tweeted, including that there had been conversations between the corporate and Mr. Musk in latest weeks.
“Parag and Elon both lead with their hearts, and they will be an incredible team,” Mr. Dorsey wrote on Twitter.
The pleasant remarks had been underpinned by how all three males appeared to share related concepts. At varied occasions, every has talked about reshaping social networking by radically shifting the facility to customers and away from large corporations. Such a transfer towards “decentralization” would give folks 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 “significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!” He didn’t elaborate on what these modifications may be.
Then got here the reversal over the weekend.
“I believe this is for the best,” Mr. Agrawal mentioned in his tweet on Sunday. He added that Twitter’s workers ought to “tune out the noise, and stay focused on the work and what we’re doing.”