December 6, 2023


Step Into The Technology

Elon Musk’s Twitter tweetstorm fuels theories about board drama

5 min read


Elon Musk’s sudden final decision this weekend to decline a board seat at Twitter coincided with a prolific tweetstorm, delivering clues to the remarkable reversal.

At 6:33 a.m. Pacific on Saturday, Musk requested “Is Twitter dying?” Above the future 17 hrs, Musk aimed tweets at Twitter’s most popular users, its San Francisco headquarters and its system for authenticating accounts. Prior to he was finished, he produced a lewd joke about the firm exactly where he is now its major shareholder.

The erratic string of Saturday tweets was strange even for a CEO who has attained 80 million followers with controversial 280-character posts that have resulted in lawsuits and Securities and Trade Commission enforcement steps.

But it is the finest evidence to parse to assist suss out the mysteries of what happened driving the scenes among his agreement a 7 days in the past to be a part of Twitter’s board and his conclusion to decrease it Saturday. The board position was attached to Musk getting to be the company’s greatest shareholder, with a much more than 9 p.c stake.

“We have and will generally worth enter from our shareholders no matter whether they are on our Board or not. Elon is our largest shareholder and we will continue being open to his enter,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal wrote in a put up Sunday night time.

The final decision to request Musk to join the board was heralded by conservatives, who predicted the Tesla chief govt to champion a calming of content material procedures at the organization — and probably even to reverse the ban on Twitter imposed on former president Donald Trump. In the meantime, Twitter personnel expressed discomfort internally, worrying Musk may undo development the business has made in policing problematic material on the web.

Now, Twitter “must deal with a wild card trader that now owns nine % of the firm and has the methods to get the remaining 91 per cent,” Don Bilson, an analyst with Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, wrote in an email to shoppers.

It’s unclear what accurately transpired to end result in the reversal. Agrawal said Musk chose not to sign up for the board at some point that early morning, but he did not specify particularly what time that early morning, nor did he say which arrived initial: Musk’s final decision on the board seat or his tweetstorm.

Musk “liked” a tweet from another user early Monday that posited the principle: “Elon grew to become the premier shareholder no cost Speech. Elon was informed to perform great and not converse freely.”

In key reversal, Elon Musk won’t be part of Twitter board

Twitter declined to comment, and Musk did not respond to requests for remark.

Agrawal also described that Musk had been matter to a background examine. According to a particular person who has taken care of qualifications checks for notable board appointments, this would have probably looked for any data that may cause harm to the organization, ought to it be made public. Musk would have experienced to cooperate with such a verify, this particular person reported.

Musk has been embroiled in a combat with the Securities and Exchange Commission about his tweets, a person of which suggested he had secured sufficient funding to get his business, Tesla, non-public, an announcement that brought on substantial inventory motion.

On Tuesday, Musk was accused of securities fraud in Manhattan federal court by a Twitter shareholder. The scenario facilities on Musk’s late disclosure of his possession stake in Twitter. According to SEC rules, Musk experienced 10 times to disclose to the SEC that he had acquired extra than five per cent of the enterprise. Musk attained that benchmark March 14, but waited until finally April 4 to disclose the holdings, when the disclosure brought on the stock to jump about 30 per cent. The lawsuit, which seeks course action standing, alleges that anybody who marketed Twitter inventory during that window skipped out on the price tag enhance and are as a result owed payment.

The match claims that Musk experienced motive to hold off disclosure mainly because he ongoing to purchase thousands and thousands of shares just after the disclosure date. In the course of that period, the go well with alleges, Musk saved $143 million by attaining at an artificially small price tag. The Washington Post described last week that, based on the inventory selling price at the time, Musk had designed $156 million by delaying the disclosure.

Musk has previously taken to Twitter to criticize or solicit opinions on the company. For occasion, he would like the firm to include an “edit” button, which would let tweets to be changed following they are posted. Twitter reported it was doing the job on that final 7 days, pursuing a poll posted by Musk.

But Musk’s greatest gripe by significantly is Twitter’s refusal to let some forms of content material.

“Free speech is critical to a operating democracy,” Musk wrote on Twitter on March 25, just before launching a poll inquiring: “Do you feel Twitter rigorously adheres to this theory?”

Additional than 70 % of the 2 million folks who voted said no.

On Saturday early morning, Musk informed Twitter that he would not be signing up for the board, according to Agrawal’s statement.

Musk’s tweetstorm continued right after his notification. Shortly after 5 p.m., he opined that any individual who joined Twitter’s subscription support Twitter Blue really should receive an authentication check out mark. That would appear to address a long-standing gripe about the proliferation of spam accounts on the support, although it would be an uncommon declaration from a new board member.

Elon Musk to deal with Twitter team right after internal outcry

At 6:31 p.m. he launched a poll on whether or not Twitter must change its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter — “since no a single reveals up anyway.” It was an apparent reference to the company’s indefinite remote work plan.

Fourteen minutes just before midnight, Musk made a lewd joke that hearkened to a preceding tweet about forming a university with the acronym T.I.T.S.

“Delete the w in Twitter?” Musk requested.

Lots of of Musk’s tweets that working day were being later deleted.

“When you tweet about turning Twitter’s office into a homeless shelter, it is a minor hard to consider you are pushed by attempting to travel the stock value greater,” mentioned Richard Greenfield, a associate at investigation company LightShed Companions, referring to the fiduciary obligation that board customers have to a corporation — a thing Agrawal also referenced in his announcement of Musk’s decision Sunday evening.

Musk’s selection to stay away from the board seat could in some strategies give him extra affect more than the company. He is no lengthier confined in how he can use his voting electricity, nor is he restricted to a 14.9 per cent stake in the corporation, an settlement he manufactured as a prospective board member.

Now, Musk could sign up for forces with other shareholders to drive Twitter’s hand. As a new CEO, specialists say Agrawal is specifically vulnerable to an effort and hard work to oust him. Musk could get plenty of shareholder votes to substitute board customers and finally oust Agrawal.


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