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Twitter appoints Elon Musk to the board

Twitter has named Tesla CEO Elon Musk to its board of directors, a day after it was announced he had become the social media company’s CEO largest shareholder.

“Through discussions with Elon over the past few weeks, we have realized that he will bring great value to our board,” Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal announced on the platform on Tuesday.

“He’s both an ardent supporter and intense critic of the service, which is exactly what we need on Twitter and in the boardroom to make us stronger over the long term.” Welcome Elon!”

The entrepreneur’s term of office expires in 2024.

Twitter shares rose more than 9.5 percent premarket after the announcement to $54.71. The company’s shares rose more than 27 percent on Monday after a filing with the SEC revealed that Musk had acquired a 9.2 percent passive stake.

Musk is a frequent user of Twitter, with more than 80 million followers, and has been soliciting opinions on how Twitter should be designed by taking polls on the platform over the past few weeks.

After it was announced that Musk would become Twitter’s largest shareholder, he tweeted, “Oh hi lol” and later posted a poll asking if users would like an edit button.

Sharing Musk’s message, Agrawal warned “the consequences of this poll will be important” in reference to comments Musk made last month about whether Twitter is in line with free speech and democracy.

Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey welcomed the appointment. “I’m so excited to have Elon join the Twitter board! He cares deeply about our world and Twitter’s role in it. Parag and Elon both lead with their hearts and they will make an incredible team,” he wrote on Twitter.

Two weeks ago, Musk conducted another poll on the platform asking whether Twitter’s algorithm should be open source, meaning anyone can see the original source code behind it. Dorsey who resigned in November responded after increasing pressure from activist investor Elliott Management: “The choice of which algorithm to use (or not) should be open to everyone.”

Musk’s history on the platform has been controversial, drawing him into a battle with US regulators.

After previously tweeting that Tesla had “secured funding” to take the company private, the SEC enforced a penalty and the condition that a company attorney approve Musk’s Twitter messages about Tesla’s finances. A recently filed filing shows Musk trying to overturn that ruling.

The SEC also subpoenaed Musk in February, following a November Twitter poll asking if he should sell 10 percent of his stake in Tesla.

In an interview with the Financial Times late last year, Musk said, “I feel like Tesla has been unfairly targeted by the SEC time and time again. As far as I can see, they have done nothing to protect investors, big or small, from short sellers on Wall Street.”

https://www.ft.com/content/9db0403f-f6d1-45dc-89a8-f80da924cbe1 Twitter appoints Elon Musk to the board

Adam Bradshaw

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