Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX founder and world’s richest person, has decided not to join Twitter’s board of directors. The announcement from Parag Agrawal, the social media company’s chief executive, that Musk won’t be joining Twitter board caps off a wild week for the micro-blogging platform.
For everyone following Twitter, and Musk in particular, the last week would have looked like a rollercoaster ride. It all started with Musk confirming in a regulatory filing last week that he has bought a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter. The stake made him Twitter’s largest outside shareholder and possible board member. But, it now seems that Musk will continue being the largest outside shareholder and memelord on the platform.
Elon Musk won’t join Twitter’s board of directors
Elon Musk reversing course to join Twitter’s board of directors comes just days after he became the biggest shareholder. A few days after the SEC disclosure became public, confirming Musk’s 9.2 per cent stake in the micro-blogging platform, Agrawal tweeted that they are planning to officially appoint him to the board.
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
Twitter’s former CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey welcomed Elon Musk to the board. The statement shared by Agrawal reveals that Musk shared on the same morning that “he will no longer be joining the board.”
Agrawal did not share any further details on why Musk refused to join the board but added that he believes this was “for the best”. Twitter’s chief executive also added that Twitter will “remain open to his [Musk’s] input.”
Loudest voice on the platform
With 80 million followers, Elon Musk has become the loudest voice on the platform. From criticising his opponents to boosting memecoins to exchanging disinformation, Musk has used the platform in a number of ways. He was also critical of some of the decisions made by Twitter to restrict certain speech on the platform.
In line with this view, he floated the idea of starting his own social media platform on Twitter. In a mandatory disclosure to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last Monday, Musk revealed that he has acquired a passive 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter. The disclosure revealed that Musk owned 73,486,938 shares and based on the previous closing, the stake was estimated to be worth around $2.89B.
Soon after the disclosure became public, Twitter saw its biggest day of trading since its IPO in 2013. The stock jumped nearly 30 per cent last Monday and followed up with a gain of another 10 per cent when the board appointment was first announced.
For his SEC filing, Musk chose to declare his stake in 13G filing, which indicated that he does not plan to join the board or become an activist investor. A number of analysts predicted Musk will defy those norms and when Twitter offered him a board seat, it became evident that the world’s richest person will redefine the platform that gained its foothold with 140 character limit.
While his passive stake and possible board seat resulted in multiple hot takes and analysis, Musk continued to do what he does best on Twitter – share wild ideas. First he polled his 80 million followers on whether Twitter needed an edit button. The poll was so crucial that even Twitter CEO joined the conversation by saying the “consequences of this poll will be important” and asking respondents to “vote carefully.”
He then quote tweeted statistics about top 10 Twitter accounts with the most followers and said that most top accounts tweet rarely and “post very little content.” He cited Canadian singer Justin Bieber and American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift as examples of top Twitter accounts that post rarely. He also shared his views on a poll depicting that the Weather Channel is the most trusted media organisation by Democrats and Republicans.
“Weather is fake. I seen Truman Show!,” he tweeted in response.
He has also been live tweeting new features he wants to see on Twitter. He suggested that Twitter should give an authentication checkmark to everyone who signs up for Twitter Blue, a subscription service that costs $3 per month. Musk added that this checkmark “should be different from ‘public figure’ or ‘official account’ checkmark” and will increase the verified pool.
In a thread, he even cited Twitter Blue’s modifiable 20 second time window in which users can edit their tweets as a special feature. He went on to say that Twitter should not rely on ads for revenue. “The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive,” Musk said and suggested using Dogecoin as a payment option.
Convert Twitter SF HQ to homeless shelter since no one shows up anyway— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 10, 2022
In a recent tweet, he polled his 80 million followers asking whether Twitter should convert its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter since “no one shows up anyway.” The poll saw 91.3 per cent reply with a yes and even Amazon founder Jeff Bezos joined the conversation with a link to a report about an 8-story homeless shelter attached to an Amazon office building in Seattle.
In one of his bizarre suggestions, he polled his followers on the idea of deleting the letter “w” from Twitter.
It is not immediately clear what Musk intends to do with his Twitter stake and might probably sell his stake to make a good return on his investment. For now, it seems he will continue to be the loudest voice on the platform sharing bizarre ideas and polling his users on whatever is on his mind.