NATIONAL NEWS

Elon Musk will not join board at Twitter in sudden reversal

Apr 11, 2022, 5:22 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:36 pm
FILE: Elon Musk speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition on March 9, 2020, in Washing...
FILE: Elon Musk speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition on March 9, 2020, in Washington. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Less than a week after announcing that Tesla CEO Elon Musk would join its board of directors, Twitter has reversed course.

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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

A sign hangs in the offices of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America(Photo by Mario Tama/Get...
Michael Houck, KSL-TV & Associated Press

Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Utah abortion ban

'We are forced into motherhood'; Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Utah's trigger law banning most abortions in the state.
21 hours ago
FILE...
Associated Press

Officer suspended for off-duty actions at abortion protest

A Rhode Island police officer has been suspended from his job with pay after allegedly punching a woman while off-duty.
21 hours ago
A suspected land mine was removed from a Florida beach, according to police. (Credit: Indian River ...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

A suspected land mine was removed from a Florida beach

A suspected land mine was removed from a Florida beach, according to police.
21 hours ago
FILE - This July 1, 2016, file photo shows Mega Millions lottery tickets on a counter at a Pilot tr...
Yenny Sanchez, CNN

South Carolina man wins $100,000 lottery after using strategy he saw on TV

A South Carolina man has won more than $100,000 after trying a lottery strategy inspired by an episode of TLC's 'Lottery Changed My Life.'
21 hours ago
SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 16: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, answers a question at a news conference about t...
REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press

Inslee seeks abortion rights amendment to state constitution

Washington Gov. Inslee said he will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within his state's borders.
21 hours ago
At least 150 cats were removed from a Winsted home in what police are calling a "cat hoarding" situ...
Evan Sobol & Eliza Kruczynski, WFSB

Police: At least 150 cats removed from Winsted home in ‘cat hoarding’ case

At least 150 cats were removed from a Connecticut home in what police are calling a “cat hoarding” situation.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Elon Musk will not join board at Twitter in sudden reversal