First Yes, Then No: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Not on Twitter’s Board

First Yes, Then No: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Not on Twitter’s Board

After all, technology entrepreneur Elon Musk will not sit on Twitter’s board of directors. A week ago, it was announced that Musk had become the largest shareholder of the social networking site. So a seat on the board of directors seemed a logical consequence, but Musk would now waive it himself.


The technology world was briefly in turmoil last week: Elon Musk, best known for car maker Tesla and space company SpaceX, became the largest shareholder (and therefore owner) of messaging site Twitter in one fell swoop. He invested nearly $3 billion in the company, accounting for a 9.2 percent share.

That seems like a huge amount, but Elon Musk is the richest person on earth. His net worth is estimated at $273 billion. His wealth consists mainly of shares of the electric car maker Tesla, of which he is also CEO.

When the richest man on earth buys into a company, people get excited: Twitter’s share promptly jumped nearly 30 percent.

A day later, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced on… Twitter that Musk would be serving on the company’s board of directors. “It has become clear to us that he would be a great added value for the board of directors.”

In the days that followed, Musk, himself an avid Twitterer with more than 80 million followers, released some critics’ tweets about Twitter. He launched a poll to introduce an edit function and suggested making the platform ad-free.

This morning there was a new tweet from the Twitter CEO. This shows that Elon Musk will not be part of the board of directors after all. Musk would have said this to Twitter two days ago. “We remain open to his input,” said CEO Agrawal.

Elon Musk himself has not yet responded, so we have to settle for the most likely explanations for his decision. For example, the conditions for his board seat state that he can only own 14.9 percent of the company as long as he is on the board. So does he want to have his hands free to build a greater interest?

In addition to the financial penalty, Musk also had to sign a document stating that he could no longer tweet about Tesla without presenting it to a company lawyer. Musk has since wanted to get rid of that restriction without success for the time being.

Musk may have been imposed similar restrictions by the Twitter summit and saw that as a curtailment of his freedom of expression. Anyway, now that Musk is not on the board, he can expand his stake without a problem and say what he wants about the company. That promises.

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