ALL NEWS

Tesla CEO Elon Musk decides not to join Twitter’s board after all

Apr 11, 2022, 7:27 AM | Updated: 7:29 am
FILE - Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Ex...
FILE - Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington. Photo credit: AP, Susan Walsh.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter’s largest investor, billionaire Elon Musk, is reversing course and will no longer join the company’s board of directors less than a week after being awarded a seat.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced the news, which followed a weekend of Musk tweets suggesting changes to Twitter, including making the site ad-free. Nearly 90% of Twitter’s 2021 revenue came from ads.

“Elon’s appointment to the board was to become officially effective on 4/9, but Elon shared that same morning that he would not be joining the board,” Agrawal wrote in a reposted note originally sent to Tesla employees. “I believe this is for the best.”

Agrawal didn’t offer an explanation for Musk’s apparent decision. He said the board understood the risks of having Musk, who is now the company’s largest shareholder, as a member. But it, “believed 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,” he wrote.

Musk posted a few cryptic tweets late Sunday, including one showing a meme saying, “In all fairness, your honor, my client was in goblin mode,” followed by one saying “Explains everything.” Another, later tweet was of an emoji with a hand over its mouth.

He now has a 9% stake in Twitter, raising questions about how he might try to reshape the social media platform as Twitter’s biggest shareholder.

Musk’s 80.5 million Twitter followers make him one of the most popular figures on the platform, rivaling pop stars like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. But his prolific tweeting has sometimes gotten him into trouble, such as when he has used it to promote his business ventures, rally Tesla loyalists, question pandemic measures and pick fights.

In one famous example, Musk apologized to a British cave explorer who alleged the Tesla CEO had branded him a pedophile by referring to him as “pedo guy” in an angry — and subsequently deleted — tweet. The explorer filed a defamation suit, although a Los Angeles jury later cleared Musk.

He’s also been locked in a long-running dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over his Twitter activity. Musk and Tesla in 2018 agreed to pay $40 million in civil fines and for Musk to have his tweets approved by a corporate lawyer after he tweeted about having the money to take Tesla private at $420 per share. That didn’t happen but the tweet caused Tesla’s stock price to jump. His lawyer has contended that the SEC is infringing on Musk’s free speech rights.

Musk has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” and has said he doesn’t think Twitter is living up to free speech principles — an opinion shared by followers of Donald Trump and several right-wing political figures who’ve had their accounts suspended for violating Twitter content rules.

But what’s really has been driving Musk’s Twitter involvement isn’t clear. Other preoccupations with the service include arguing to make Twitter’s algorithm viewable by the public, widening the availability of “verified” Twitter accounts, and blasting a profile photo initiative involving non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

Musk has also called “crypto spam bots,” which search tweets for cryptocurrency-related keywords then pose as customer support to empty user crypto wallets, the “most annoying problem on Twitter.”

Twitter’s CEO and other board members have praised Musk, suggesting they might take his ideas seriously.

Agrawal’s initial actions since taking over from co-founder Jack Dorsey in November have involved reorganizing divisions without making major changes. The company has long lagged behind its social media rivals and boasts far fewer users.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

In this image taken from NASA video, a solar panel is unfolded at the International Space Station, ...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Astronauts will give the space station a power boost during Saturday spacewalk

The International Space Station will receive a power boost during a spacewalk on Saturday, as NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio install a solar array outside the floating laboratory.
9 hours ago
The US Food and Drug Administration said it is closely working with drug manufacturers to assess a ...
Carma Hassan, CNN

Children’s painkillers in high demand as respiratory illnesses rise

The US Food and Drug Administration said it is closely working with drug manufacturers to assess the situation.
9 hours ago
The Air Force is set to unveil the newest stealth bomber aircraft on Dec. 2. Photo credit: Northrop...
Haley Britzky and Ellie Kaufman, CNN

Air Force unveils newest stealth bomber aircraft

The newest stealth bomber was unveiled on Friday in California.
1 day ago
Former astronaut and Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored Saturday with an art installation tribute ...
Mark Jones

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn to be honored with art tribute on Saturday

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored with an art installation tribute Saturday at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
1 day ago
A west valley police car is pictured. Police are investigating a hit and run...
Mark Jones

Fire in West Valley City home contained to one room in basement

A fire inside a West Valley City home Friday was contained to one room in the basement, according to fire officials on scene.
1 day ago
Authorities in Washington County are investigating the discovery of the body of a 36-year-old man e...
Mark Jones

Staff member at school in southern Utah arrested for alleged sexual abuse

A 22-year-old staff member of a school in southern Utah was arrested Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for alleged sexual abuse.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk decides not to join Twitter’s board after all