Elon Musk’s Twitter tweetstorm fuels theories about board drama


Elon Musk’s unexpected selection this weekend to drop a board seat at Twitter coincided with a prolific tweetstorm, delivering clues to the spectacular reversal.

At 6:33 a.m. Pacific on Saturday, Musk requested “Is Twitter dying?” Over the next 17 hours, Musk aimed tweets at Twitter’s most well known buyers, its San Francisco headquarters and its system for authenticating accounts. Right before he was performed, he created a lewd joke about the corporation wherever he is now its greatest shareholder.

The erratic string of Saturday tweets was abnormal 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 help suss out the mysteries of what happened guiding the scenes in between his settlement a 7 days back to join Twitter’s board and his final decision to decrease it Saturday. The board placement was attached to Musk getting to be the company’s largest shareholder, with a extra than 9 % stake.

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

The selection to question Musk to be a part of the board was heralded by conservatives, who anticipated the Tesla main government to winner a calming of information procedures at the organization — and it’s possible even to reverse the ban on Twitter imposed on previous president Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Twitter staff expressed irritation internally, worrying Musk may undo progress the enterprise has designed in policing problematic articles on the net.

Now, Twitter “must deal with a wild card investor that now owns nine percent of the organization and has the means to get the remaining 91 per cent,” Don Bilson, an analyst with Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, wrote in an electronic mail to purchasers.

It’s unclear what exactly happened to final result in the reversal. Agrawal said Musk chose not to sign up for the board at some issue that morning, but he did not specify precisely what time that early morning, nor did he say which came first: Musk’s choice on the board seat or his tweetstorm.

Musk “liked” a tweet from an additional user early Monday that posited the idea: “Elon became the largest shareholder free of charge Speech. Elon was told to engage in great and not discuss freely.”

In key reversal, Elon Musk won’t sign up for Twitter board

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

Agrawal also talked about that Musk had been topic to a background check out. According to a individual who has handled qualifications checks for outstanding board appointments, this would have almost certainly seemed for any details that might lead to hurt to the enterprise, must it be designed community. Musk would have had to cooperate with these a test, this particular person reported.

Musk has been embroiled in a fight with the Securities and Trade Commission over his tweets, one particular of which prompt he experienced secured more than enough funding to consider his company, Tesla, private, an announcement that caused major stock motion.

On Tuesday, Musk was accused of securities fraud in Manhattan federal courtroom by a Twitter shareholder. The situation facilities on Musk’s late disclosure of his ownership stake in Twitter. In accordance to SEC policies, Musk had 10 days to disclose to the SEC that he experienced acquired more than 5 p.c of the corporation. Musk reached that benchmark March 14, but waited till April 4 to disclose the holdings, when the disclosure prompted the inventory to bounce roughly 30 percent. The lawsuit, which seeks class motion position, alleges that anyone who bought Twitter stock for the duration of that window missed out on the value maximize and are hence owed compensation.

The match statements that Musk experienced motive to hold off disclosure because he ongoing to receive tens of millions of shares following the disclosure date. In the course of that interval, the go well with alleges, Musk saved $143 million by attaining at an artificially reduced price. The Washington Write-up reported final week that, based mostly on the inventory price tag at the time, Musk experienced built $156 million by delaying the disclosure.

Musk has beforehand taken to Twitter to criticize or solicit comments on the organization. For occasion, he would like the business to include an “edit” button, which would make it possible for tweets to be transformed right after they are printed. Twitter explained it was working on that last 7 days, subsequent a poll posted by Musk.

But Musk’s major gripe by significantly is Twitter’s refusal to allow some styles of material.

“Free speech is critical to a performing democracy,” Musk wrote on Twitter on March 25, right before launching a poll inquiring: “Do you think Twitter rigorously adheres to this basic principle?”

A lot more than 70 percent of the 2 million persons who voted said no.

On Saturday morning, Musk educated Twitter that he would not be signing up for the board, in accordance to Agrawal’s assertion.

Musk’s tweetstorm continued right after his notification. Shortly right after 5 p.m., he opined that anybody who joined Twitter’s membership support Twitter Blue ought to acquire an authentication test mark. That would surface to address a prolonged-standing gripe about the proliferation of spam accounts on the assistance, however it would be an unusual declaration from a new board member.

Elon Musk to deal with Twitter employees after inside outcry

At 6:31 p.m. he launched a poll on regardless of whether Twitter really should convert its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter — “since no 1 shows up in any case.” It was an apparent reference to the company’s indefinite remote function plan.

Fourteen minutes right before midnight, Musk built a lewd joke that hearkened to a previous tweet about forming a college with the acronym T.I.T.S.

“Delete the w in Twitter?” Musk requested.

A lot of of Musk’s tweets that working day were later on deleted.

“When you tweet about turning Twitter’s workplace into a homeless shelter, it’s a small really hard to imagine you are driven by seeking to drive the inventory cost larger,” said Richard Greenfield, a lover at analysis organization LightShed Companions, referring to the fiduciary accountability that board users have to a corporation — a little something Agrawal also referenced in his announcement of Musk’s choice Sunday evening.

Musk’s determination to keep away from the board seat could in some methods give him additional affect more than the organization. He is no for a longer time confined in how he can use his voting electric power, nor is he restricted to a 14.9 percent stake in the organization, an arrangement he produced as a potential board member.

Now, Musk could join forces with other shareholders to power Twitter’s hand. As a new CEO, authorities say Agrawal is specially vulnerable to an hard work to oust him. Musk could collect more than enough shareholder votes to swap board users and ultimately oust Agrawal.


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