On Tuesday, Twitter announced they would offer Elon Musk a seat on its board of directors. With the new position, Musk hopes to make improvements to the app, an avid Twitter user himself.
Alongside holding a new position, Musk bought roughly a 9% stake in Twitter on Monday, making him the largest shareholder.
Shortly after he built his stake in the company on March 14, Musk reportedly asked Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about joining the Twitter board. Dorsey and Agrawal happily accepted and expressed enthusiasm for his involvement.
Dorsey tweeted that he is “really happy Elon is joining the Twitter board” and mentioned Agrawal and Musk will “make an incredible team.”
I’m really happy Elon is joining 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 be an incredible team. https://t.co/T4rWEJFAes
— jack⚡️ (@jack) April 5, 2022
What will Musk’s new role help to accomplish?
As of now, little has been provided on the changes that could occur with Musk’s new position.
However, Musk’s position will definitely involve making strategic decisions with the company, including the direction of Twitter’s Bluesky project — a Twitter-funded company working on an open protocol, which would allow different social media companies to operate together. Bluesky is working toward creating what is called a decentralized network for Twitter, decentralized meaning no single entity will be allowed to control it, but several.
Compared to a centralized network, where companies have to continuously decide to moderate users’ posts, having a decentralized network with several controllers able to moderate posts will make the workload on Twitter significantly easier.
Musk is also expected to vote on the edition of an edit button — something that has been long-awaited by consumers of the app. The edit button will allow users to change tweets after they have been posted
Musk will have a say on every aspect of Twitter’s policies and activities, including the platform’s moderation which includes what speech gets banned and whose accounts get restored — as all board members must be involved in the decision process. His voice will of course be one of several, there are 12 board members in total.
Twitter executives were very welcoming to the change, CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, even congratulated Musk in a Twitter post.
“He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term,” Agrawal said.
I’m excited to share that we’re appointing @elonmusk to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board.
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 5, 2022
As an active Twitter user, Musk has been critical of the social media platform and their policies in the past — many are hoping his role in the company will induce change. For example, he has questioned whether Twitter undermines free speech, suggested Twitter’s algorithm should be an “open-source” and even tweeted he was “giving serious thought” to creating his own social media platform.
Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.
What should be done? https://t.co/aPS9ycji37
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
Already, Musk has taken steps to modify the platform through gaging what users want in feedback polls.
Recently, Musk tweeted a poll on Twitter asking users if they believed the platform emulates the use of free-speech.
On Monday, Musk tweeted out another poll asking users if they would benefit from the use of an edit button on the app, something Twitter creators have been developing for quite some time now.
Do you want an edit button?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
Some are concerned Musk’s involvement will allow him to takeover Twitter
Musk had acquired interest in buying the company for some time now.
On Tuesday, Musk made an amendment to the securities filing to report a change in his status in the company from a passive investor to an active investor. Being an active investor will allow Musk to continuously buy and sell investments in the company.
The same day, Musk also disclosed in his filings that he bought a combined 73 million shares in Twitter between Jan. 31 – April 1 — working out to an average price of $36.14 per share.
Prior to disclosing these details, on Friday Twitter shares closed at $39.31.
Despite speculation of a takeover, his new position on the board actually blocks his chances from doing so. With his current stake hold of 9%, being a board member means he can only own a maximum of 14.9% stock, either as an individual shareholder or as a member of a group.
Whether he may have the ability to take over control of the company in the future is uncertain, but his new position on the board is sure to herald some long-awaited modifications to the popular social media platform.
With the current board team set to expire in 2024, Musk is just at the beginning of acquiring a seat at the table.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Elon Musk at Space X press conference on February 6, 2018. Source: Daniel Oberhaus, Wikimedia.