Musk takes seat on Twitter board of directors

Musk takes seat on Twitter board of directors
(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

First, we learned that Elon Musk was putting his money where his mouth is and had purchased enough stock in Twitter to be the largest shareholder in the company. Now his involvement has become significantly more intimate. Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal announced (on Twitter, of course) that Musk was joining the company’s board of directors. Given how critical Musk has been regarding censorship on the platform, this may seem like a surprising development. But a closer look suggests that this may have been something of a defensive maneuver on Agrawal’s part. (WSAZ)

Elon Musk is joining Twitter’s board of directors a day after disclosing that the Tesla CEO took a 9% stake in the social media platform.

Twitter Inc. said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it entered into an agreement with Musk on Monday that will give the billionaire a seat on its board, with the term expiring at its 2024 annual shareholders meeting.

Musk, either alone or as a member of a group, won’t be allowed to own more than 14.9% of Twitter’s outstanding stock for as long as he’s a board member and for 90 days after.

I couldn’t help but notice how Musk used the phrase “make significant improvements to Twitter.” That statement flatly implies that significant improvements are needed. And while many of us no doubt agree with that statement, it’s got to be a rather bitter pill for the current management to swallow.

As noted in the excerpt above, the rules of the road for Twitter’s board of directors now limit Musk from owning more than 14.9 percent of the company’s stock while he holds that position. The other board members were probably terrified of the possibility that Musk might turn around and buy half of the stock and proceed to simply fire everyone. Of course, it cost him several billion dollars just to buy a bit less than ten percent. Yes, the guy is insanely rich, but even he has to have some spending limits.

How much of an impact will Elon Musk be able to have on Twitter’s policies? After all, he may now be the company’s largest shareholder, but there are eleven other people on the board, including Jack Dorsey. And these are the same people who have spent years gradually altering corporate policy to make the platform an increasingly oppressive and liberal platform that bans insufficiently woke users at the drop of a hat. Should we expect them to suddenly revert to being a mostly open market for thoughts and ideas overnight because Musk has arrived?

Speaking of Dorsey, he weighed in this morning also, expressing his great admiration for one of his company’s most strident critics.

I’m really happy Elon is joining the Twitter board! He cares deeply about our world and Twitter’s role in it.

Parag and Elon both lead with their hearts, and they will be an incredible team.

If there are going to be any negotiations taking place over policy changes, they will almost certainly happen behind closed doors rather than in some sort of public social media spat. And that’s fine, provided actual reform winds up taking place in the near future. If it does happen, I’ll predict that the announcements will be crafted in a way that allows the original management to save face and not look like Musk is twisting their arms.

The other question I would raise here concerns precisely how much “free time” Elon Musk has available to try to fix Twitter. The guy is running a massive car company, a space base, and an operation trying to tunnel its way under the country’s major cities. Oh, and he’s trying to go to Mars as well. He’s got a lot on his plate. I absolutely wish him all the best in his efforts to clean up the mess at Twitter, but I don’t see this as a sure thing just yet.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Video

John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023