Elon Musk declines offer to join Twitter's board

Billionaire co-founder and chief executive of Tesla has a 9.2% stake in the social media company and is its largest shareholder

Elon Musk will not join the board of Twitter after he became the company's biggest shareholder and it offered to add him as a member. Reuters
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Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder and chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla, has declined an offer to join the board of Twitter after he bought a 9.2 per cent stake in the social media company to become its single largest shareholder.

Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal had announced last week that Mr Musk would be appointed to the board "contingent on a background check and formal acceptance".

"The board and I had many discussions about Elon joining the board, and with Elon directly," Mr Agrawal said on the microblogging site on Sunday.

"We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks. We also believed that having Elon as a fiduciary of the company where he, like all board members, has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward."

The board offered him a seat. Mr Musk's appointment to the board was to become officially effective on April 9, the Twitter chief executive said.

"But Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board. I believe this is for the best," said Mr Agrawal.

"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 stay focused on the work and what we're building."

Mr Musk may have decided not to join Twitter's board as he would be limited to owning no more than 14.9 per cent of the company as per the Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week.

An amended SEC filing by Mr Musk on Monday indicates he "may engage in discussions with the board ... concerning, including, without limitation, potential business combinations and strategic alternatives, the business, operations, capital structure, governance, management, strategy of the issuer and other matters"..

He may also "may express his views to the board and/or members of the Issuer’s management team and/or the public, through social media or other channels with respect to the Issuer’s business, products and service offerings"..

Shares of Twitter had jumped about 7 per cent in premarket trading to $53.38 last week on Tuesday after the company's stock price soared more than 27 per cent the previous day following Mr Musk's acquisition of about 73.5 million shares of the social media giant, worth about $3 billion.

The company's share price has retreated and closed nearly 4 per cent weaker at the end of trading on Friday to settle at $46.23. The market value of the company stood at about $37bn as of the end of trading on Friday compared with $40bn last Monday.

Mr Musk topped the Forbes 2022 World Billionaires List for the first time last week with a net worth of $219bn.

In contrast, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index named Mr Musk the world’s richest person at the end of 2021 with a personal fortune of $273.5bn.

Mr Musk added $68bn to his net worth over the past year after a 33 per cent jump in the share price of his electric vehicle maker, Tesla, Forbes said.

Updated: April 11, 2022, 1:20 PM