Home / Companies / News / Elon Musk promises more drama, says the next Twitter board meet volition be ‘lit’
Elon Musk promises more drama, says the next Twitter board run into will be ‘lit’
4 min read
Updated: 09 April 2022, 05:55 AM IST
- Shares of Twitter have jumped more than than 17% since Musk disclosed his holdings, a sign that investors believe that he will have both the inclination and the influence to help the company hitting its ambitious growth targets
In Silicon Valley, where board seats at public companies rarely merchandise hands, Twitter Inc. is the unruly exception. The social network has rotated through waves of directors in contempo years as it dealt with slowing growth, executive turnover, contentious activist investors and unending political strife. Now the lath has Elon Musk.
Over the last few months, the world’s wealthiest person went from being one of the loudest voices on Twitter to the company’s largest shareholder and board fellow member. That transition has left employees and analysts guessing well-nigh Musk’s plans for the $37 billion company. It also puts a spotlight on Twitter’southward mostly quiet lath, which volition now accept to contend with the mercurial glory businessman.
“He’s launched rockets into space. And helped solve the world’due south energy crisis,” said Matt Navarra, social media consultant and industry analyst. “He’southward about to detect tackling content moderation on social media platforms is harder than both those things.”
Musk volition be an unusual addition to the Twitter board. He isn’t an expert in advertising, which is how Twitter makes coin, and he has a habit of tangling with regulators, who are a abiding concern for any large social media platform. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’due south erstwhile principal executive, is set to depart the board later on this year when his term expires. Different Dorsey and Musk, the remaining 10 lath members go on relatively low profiles. They don’t tweet nearly as often, and one hasn’t tweeted at all.
Shares of Twitter have jumped more than than 17% since Musk disclosed his holdings, a sign that investors believe that he volition have both the inclination and the influence to help the visitor hit its ambitious growth targets. Concluding yr, under pressure from activist investor Elliott Direction Corp., Twitter set a goal of reaching 315 one thousand thousand daily active users and doubling its revenue past the end of 2023.
Merely some analysts doubt that the kind of publicity that follows Musk will be good for Twitter. “This acquisition doesn’t change what Twitter needs,” said Tom Forte, senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson. “It increases its stature and contour, only that hasn’t been where Twitter has come up short.”
The story of Twitter’s leadership up until this betoken is an eventful ane. Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder, started his second stint equally its CEO in 2015, when the board consisted of mostly Silicon Valley insiders, and only one woman. He pushed to diversify Twitter’south directors, and the post-obit year the company replaced two early investors on its board with PepsiCo Inc. executive Hugh Johnston and Martha Lane Pull a fast one on, a British internet entrepreneur. In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said, “We’ve been open nigh the need to diversify our board, and that commitment still stands today.” The visitor has added two female person members in the concluding two years.
In 2020, every bit Twitter’due south stock cost languished, activist investor Elliott Management targeted the company—and Dorsey in particular. Elliott pushed for Dorsey’s ouster, complaining that he was also running Square, some other public company. In March of 2020, Elliott took a board seat at Twitter, as did private equity house Silver Lake. Elliott was represented by Jesse Cohn (who left last yr), and Silver Lake past Egon Durban. Dorsey appeared to take won a reprieve, but in 2021, he stepped down as CEO, handing the reins to Parag Agarwal, Twitter’due south chief technologist. At the same time, Salesforce.com Inc. executive Bret Taylor became the board chairman.
Despite all that upheaval, the lath’s most chaotic era may be yet to come. Musk’s “appointment to Twitter’s board is very likely to bring controversy and theatrics,” Navarra said.
Musk, 50, has dropped some hints nigh his plans at Twitter. Since Jan. 31, when he quietly began acquiring Twitter shares, Musk criticized the company for “failing to adhere to free speech principles.” More recently, he promised that Twitter’s next board meeting “is gonna be lit.” He added an epitome showing him smoking marijuana on Joe Rogan’due south podcast, an incident that prompted a Pentagon review. (Musk also runs Space Exploration Technologies Corp., a government contractor.)
Some analysts wait that Musk will play an active office in Twitter’s production development and policy moves—including, potentially, its determination to remove Donald Trump from the platform permanently in 2021. (Facebook and YouTube temporarily froze the one-time president’due south account.) Musk “could try to convince the company to take it a petty easier on content moderation,” said Ali Mogharabi, senior disinterestedness analyst at Morningstar Investment Service, who predicted that the billionaire would push to reactivate Trump’due south account. However, it’s unclear how much power Musk could exert over that decision equally a lone board member decision-making about a tenth of the visitor.
Several Twitter employees said they were concerned about Musk’southward positions on content moderation, as well as allegations of racism at a Tesla manufactory. The employees asked not to be identified discussing private company data. Some other Twitter staffer called those upset about Musk’s engagement a “loud minority.” Most people at Twitter learned that Musk would get a board seat only minutes before the motility was appear publicly, co-ordinate to multiple people at the company. Musk will field questions directly from employees when he joins Agrawal at a company all-hands coming together next calendar week.
From at present on, staffers may get a more detailed await at decision-making at Twitter via Musk’s own feed. Boards frequently limit how much their members tin speak almost the company, and often “have codes of conduct and confidentially agreements,” said Karen Brenner, executive director of law and business initiatives at New York University’due south business school. But those constraints likely won’t work for Musk, Brenner said. “He has shown that he believes he can speak every bit freely as he wants and flout whatever rules are in place.”
Whatever mysteries surround Musk’s plans for Twitter, they probably won’t stay mysterious for long.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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