Elon Musk’s Twitter Board Seat: Never Mind

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, in a tweet:

Elon has decided not to join our board. I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here.

The first thing I’ll note is that Agrawal had to share the “brief note” itself as a screenshot, because, well, Twitter only supports up to 280 characters in a post. Duh, right? We all know that. But it’s really kind of silly when you consider that even Twitter’s own CEO, sharing important breaking news, has to use screenshots to share even a “brief note”. (The seemingly obvious solution would be to allow users to include a text attachment to a tweet, the same way we’ve been able to attach images and videos for years.)

From the note:

We announced on Tuesday that Elon would be appointed to the Board contingent on a background check and formal acceptance. Elon’s appointment to the board was to become officially effective 4/9, but Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board.

Is the “background check” relevant here? Like, did something turn up in the background check that Twitter deemed problematic? The simple explanation is that Musk simply realized that he could have freer rein — and thus more fun, and more influence — not on the board than on it. But why mention the background check at all here then? Just as a jab — a not-so-subtle dig?

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. Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.

There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged.

Translation: We are largely beholden to Elon Musk now, as our stock price is inextricably tied to his continuing shareholding.

I mean what happens to Twitter’s share price if Musk dumps all his stock and tweets something like “I tried to help Twitter but the company is run by a bunch of bozos. I’m out.” That’s just 76 characters and I bet it would tank Twitter’s stock.

Monday, 11 April 2022