May 20, 2022
Elon Musk

Elon Musk, Twitter’s largest shareholder, has decided not to join the company’s board, Chief Executive Parag Agrawal has announced.

Musk revealed a 9.1% stake last week and has spoken of plans to shake up operations at the social media giant. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO seems to be wasting no time in laying out his vision for the platform, recommending changes to the company’s blue tick policies this weekend.

It was expected that Musk would be appointed to the board effective from Saturday, but Agrawal confirmed on Twitter that the appointment would not be going ahead, noting his personal agreement with the decision.

The prospect of Musk joining the Twitter board had caused discontent amongst many working at the company. The billionaire has frequently criticized the social media platform’s policies and there were fears over the company’s ability to moderate content following the appointment.

Musk’s main criticism of Twitter has been what he perceives to be a failure to stand by the principles of free speech. Prior to buying his stake in the company Musk ran a poll on the platform asking users if they believed Twitter adheres to the principle of free speech.

Following the purchase he ran a second poll, asking opinions on the introduction of an edit button, and along with further recommendations voiced over the weekend has made it clear that he does not plan to take a passive approach to his interest in the company.

Musk’s potential to distract was addressed in Agrawal’s note. “There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged,” he said. “Let’s tune out the noise, and stay focused on the work and what we’re building.”

The only response from Musk to the announcement was a single emoji tweet, a face with a hand covering its mouth.

Twitter shares were up by 27% on April 4th when Musk disclosed his stake, but by close on Friday had dropped by 7.5%.