Elon Musk rejects Twitter board seat after floating changes for the platform
Elon Musk, now Twitter’s largest shareholder, has decided not to join the company’s board, an unexpected move announced late Sunday after Musk floated a series of changes he would like to see on the social media platform.
Musk had held discussions with Twitter’s directors, but the billionaire entrepreneur ultimately declined their offer of a board seat, Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal tweeted. “I believe this is for the best,” he said in an internal memo he shared.
The disclosure came after a string of suggestions Musk shared, on Twitter, for changes to the platform, such as adding an edit button for tweets and an ad-free subscription membership.
In a series of tweets late Saturday, the Tesla and SpaceX chief executive said that the company should include an “authentication checkmark” as a feature of its Twitter Blue premium subscription service, which costs $2.99 a month.
Twitter adds a checkmark logo next to a user name when the account has been verified “authentic, notable and active.”
Musk also suggested Twitter make the authentication checkmarks of premium subscriber accounts different from those granted to official accounts belonging to public figures, for example.
Such a move, Musk said, would “massively expand” the pool of verified user accounts and discourage the proliferation of spam “bot” accounts, making them too expensive to maintain.
Musk’s latest tweets about Twitter, including posting polls asking his 81 million followers whether Twitter is “dying” and whether the company’s San Francisco headquarters should be converted into a homeless shelter “since no one shows up anyway,” followed a tweet earlier in the week asking if he should add an edit button on the platform.
Last week, Twitter disclosed in a regulatory filing that it entered into an agreement with Musk giving the billionaire a seat on the company’s board, with the term expiring at its 2024 annual shareholders meeting. The move came a day after it was disclosed that Musk took a 9% stake in the company.
Twitter did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Sunday.
Musk also shared ideas for how Twitter should charge for its subscription membership, saying the fee “should be proportionate to affordability and in local currency.... Maybe even an option to pay in Doge?” referring to the Dogecoin cryptocurrency.
“And no ads,” Musk tweeted. “The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive.”
Nearly 90% of Twitter’s revenue in 2021 came from advertising.
Bloomberg writer Edwin Chan contributed to this report.
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