Six days after Twitter announced that Elon Musk would join its board, CEO Parag Agrawal said the Tesla CEO had decided to decline the company’s invitation in what might be the notorious Twitter troll’s biggest troll yet.
Agrawal explained in a note posted to Twitter on Sunday evening that Musk had been invited to join the board “pending a background check and formal acceptance,” but that he had rejected the offer.
The board seat offer and Musk’s decline came shortly after he bought a 9.2% stake in the company, making him Twitter’s largest shareholder. While it was still assumed that he would be taking on a board seat, Musk tweeted out a major product change that he wanted to see: an “edit button.” (On April 1, Twitter officially announced that it was building an edit button, which apparently was not a joke.)
“We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks,” Agrawal wrote about Twitter's desire to bring Musk onto its board. “We also believed that 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.”
“Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input,” he continued.
As the company’s largest shareholder, Musk may take this opportunity to become more of an activist investor, using his large number of shares to pressure Twitter into doing what he wants. As a board member, he would have been bound by a fiduciary duty, meaning that he has to act in the company’s best interest — even if it doesn’t align with his own desires.
If Musk “could acquire a controlling interest" in Twitter beyond the 9.2% that he already owns, “he would then be able to direct the company, stack the board, and do anything else necessary to prepare Twitter to execute his vision for the business,” Aron Solomon, chief legal analyst for Esquire Digital, told BuzzFeed News via email.
In the days leading up to his decision to decline the board seat, Musk continued to troll the company.
On Sunday, he published another poll that has since been deleted, asking his followers: “delete the w in Twitter?” The answers were either “yes” or “of course.” In another deleted tweet, he asked if Twitter’s headquarters should become a homeless shelter.
Read Agrawal’s full statement here: