Elon Musk has decided not to join Twitter’s board, the company said on Sunday, less than a week after the billionaire Tesla CEO disclosed he is the social media company’s largest shareholder.
Musk’s appointment was set to become official on Saturday, but he told Twitter that morning he would not join, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted late on Sunday.
The Tesla boss remains Twitter’s largest shareholder and the firm will remain open to his input, he added.
Just over an hour after Mr Agrawal’s announcement, Mr Musk cryptically tweeted a single emoji. The tweet has since been deleted.
Over the weekend, the Tesla chief suggested changes to the Twitter Blue premium subscription service, including slashing its price, banning advertising and giving the option to pay in the cryptocurrency dogecoin.
Mr Musk also asked his more than 81 million followers whether Twitter is “dying” and if its headquarters should be turned into a homeless shelter.
And he created a poll asking whether the letter “w” should be removed from the Twitter, with the only options being “yes” and “of course”.
Mr Agrawal said Twitter offered Mr Musk a seat on its board as the company had believed it was “the best path forward”, with board members having to “act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders”.
However addressing Mr Musk’s decision to decline, Mr Agrawal 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,” he added. “Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.”
Laura Foll, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors, said: “The statement from the Twitter chief executive is, I think, quite telling in that he says ‘look,
Elon decided not to join the board’. It says in the statement the board offered him a seat [and] it was Elon Musk’s decision.
“But the Twitter chief executive goes on to say ‘there will be distractions ahead but our goals and priorities remain unchanged. Let’s tune out the noise.’ I think this is the Twitter chief executive saying ‘we want to get on with running the business without these distractions’.”
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This is a very large publicly listed company. There are very strict rules around what board members, what executive members can say publicly. There has to be very strict controls and I think this is the Twitter chief executive just saying ‘let’s get on with it now, let’s run this company and Elon Musk will be a shareholder and we will listen to him along with shareholders’.”
As the largest shareholder, Elon Musk has more than four times the 2.25% shareholding of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
Shares in Twitter soared by more than 27% last Monday after Mr Musk’s stake was revealed.
However, many Twitter employees have felt disgruntled by the announcement. According to company insiders, there was anxiety over what impact he would have on the social media company’s ability to moderate content in the future.
– input from BBC was used in this article