Musk declines Twitter board seat, sparking rumors of a hostile takeover


Twitter is often in the news for various reasons. But the past week has been one of the company’s most challenging news cycles in recent history. Only a week ago, news broke that Elon Musk had purchased a majority stake in Twitter, causing many to speculate about his motives.

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Musk has been outspoken about censorship on social media, and many users have called for Musk to buy Twitter outright. With Musk now owning over 9% of the company, the board decided to offer Musk a seat on its board. The offer came with some caveats, though. Musk would not be allowed to purchase much more of the company and had to adhere to board rules that state board members must always act in the company’s best interests.

Many thought Musk would take the board seat as it would give him more input into policy and the company’s direction. But Musk has declined the position leading to speculation that he wants more than to have input; he may be looking at a hostile takeover.

Musk declines Twitter board seat, sparking rumors of a hostile takeover

What happened? Over the weekend, Musk took to Twitter to throw out a number of suggestions for changing Twitter. Musk suggested Twitter could change nascent plans around its subscription product, Twitter Blue and seemed to advocate for elminating ads, which account for nearly all of Twitter’s $3.7 billion in annual revenue. Further, Musk threw out ideas for Twitter’s headquarters (convert it to a homeless shelter) and even the company name (drop the “w” to form a crude joke). When Musk talks, he reaches an incredibly wide audience: He has over 81 million followers on Twitter, making one of the most closely watched people on the app.

But most startling was his tweet on Saturday posing this question: Is Twitter dying? It was Musk pointing out that some of Twitter’s most followed accounts rarely publish content, drawing attention to limited activity from accounts run by celebrities such as Rihana, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.

Musk’s tweet storm further unnerved Twitter employees, who already ended the week worried what effects his disruptive presence could have on the board. His tweet about Twitter and the inactive but widely followed accounts drew swift condemnation from God-Is Rivera, the company’s global director of culture and community.

“As a frequent tweeter you should know that follower count isn’t always king,” she wrote in a tweet replying to Musk’s original. “People who push conversations forward, build equity within communities, & offer unique perspectives are what make this app vibrant.”

Forbes via MSN

It will be interesting to see how this entire thing plays out. Musk certainly has some good ideas for a better platform, and he seems to be open to users’ suggestions as well.

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