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Musk Not Joining Twitter’s Board

April 11, 2022 by Madeline Hughes
Musk Not Joining Twitter’s Board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on April 30, 2015, during an event at Tesla's plant in Hawthorne, Calif. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Elon Musk is no longer joining Twitter’s board of directors, CEO Parag Agrawal announced via Twitter Sunday night.

The announcement came days after it became public Musk bought just over 9% of Twitter’s stock shares and was offered a position on the board. Musk even tweeted a meme showing a photo of himself smoking marijuana in 2018 that said, “Twitter’s next board meeting is going to be lit,” Thursday.

In Agrawal’s tweet, he shared a letter to employees that said, “I believe this is for the best. We have and will always value input from our shareholders whether they are on our board or not. Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.

“There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged. The decisions we make and how we execute is in our hands, no one else’s. Let’s tune out the noise, and let’s stay focused on the work and what we are building,” Agrawal wrote.

Musk has yet to comment on declining the board seat.

The day Musk publicly shared the percent of Twitter’s stock he owned through a Securities and Exchange filing, he asked his 81.3 million followers, “Do you want an edit button?”

Nearly 74% of the 4.4 million respondents voted “yes.”

On April 9, the day he formally rejected his board seat, he also asked his followers, “Most of these ‘top’ accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?”

Also, Musk had previously tweeted on March 26, “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” This was days before he announced his ownership in the company.

“Is a new platform needed?” he subsequently added.

In late March Musk already owned a large share of Twitter. According to his SEC filing, he reached the 5% reporting threshold on March 14.

Musk reported his shares late, after the 10-day filing deadline.

Twitter’s stock rose from $33.03 on March 14 — when he officially acquired enough shares to have to make his ownership public — to $39.31 on April 1, days after he was legally required to file. When Musk finally announced his ownership, Twitter’s stock further took off to a high of $50.98, the day Twitter announced Musk’s board seat.

Just in that unreported time, Musk netted hundreds of millions of dollars for his 73 million stock shares in the company. 

Others who have violated the 10-day filing deadline have faced fines of about $100,000 from the SEC. A potential fine would be a drop in the bucket for the world’s richest man who is worth about $265 billion, according to Forbes.

It’s unclear if the SEC will take any action for Musk’s failure to disclose his shares within the set timetable. Musk has previously been in trouble with the SEC for securities fraud when he tweeted Tesla would become a privately owned company. He was fined $40 million and removed as chairman of the board.

Madeline can be reached at maddie@thewellnews.com

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