Elon Musk will no longer join Twitter’s board, they wanted a background check

Last week, there was some terrible news about Twitter. That news? Elon Musk would be joining Twitter’s board and bringing his pompous dogecoin energy to one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. Twitter’s stock skyrocketed as investor bros believed this would usher in a new era for Twitter. Then… Twitter wanted to do a background check on Elon. Suddenly, Elon Musk is no longer joining Twitter’s board.

Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man and the biggest shareholder of Twitter, will no longer join the social media service’s board of directors, the company said late Sunday.

The move capped a whirlwind week at Twitter that had been set off by Mr. Musk, 50. On Tuesday, Twitter announced that the billionaire would be appointed to its 11-person board for a term that expires in 2024. The invitation to join the board followed Mr. Musk’s accumulating a 9.2 percent stake in the company, making him its largest shareholder.

But Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief executive, tweeted late Sunday that the situation had changed. On Saturday morning, Mr. Musk — who is a heavy Twitter user with more than 81 million followers — told the company he would no longer become a board member, Mr. Agrawal said.

[From The NY Times]

I’m including Agrawal’s statement below. Despite the claims that “no one knows why Musk backed out,” Agrawal’s statement makes it pretty clear: Elon backed out when he didn’t receive wall-to-wall praise, and when Twitter made it clear that his board seat was contingent upon a background check. Now, Musk has retained his stake in Twitter, and as holder of 9.2% of the company, he’s the largest single shareholder. Which is worrisome. Also worrisome: the MAGAts seem to believe that Elon was going to be their savior on the social media platform, and they’re mourning this loss. Which is enough to convince me that something very shady happened in the past week.

Photos courtesy of Instar and Avalon Red.

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32 Responses to “Elon Musk will no longer join Twitter’s board, they wanted a background check”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    He didn’t want the background check AND he didn’t want to except fiduciary responsibilities that board membership carries or the limits on how many shares a board member can hold. He wants to buy much more than the limit.

    The MAGATS all have a script screaming that a man who has contracts with NASA already passed a much stricter background check than Twitter could throw at him. Which totally ignores that Twitter would be looking at something other than whether he’s a national security risk. Twitter would want to know if he has conflicts of interest that could hurt Twitter, not something that would concern NASA. These people have no concept of how boards operate, fiduciary duties, or business ethics.

    • Persephone says:

      Lightpurple, do you know if as an ordinary shareholder (not a board member) there are limits to how many shares he can purchase/have?

      • Kate says:

        Depends on the corporate documents, sometimes there are anti-takeover mechanisms that make it hard/expensive to acquire a certain amount of stock. And sometimes have regulatory restrictions.

      • susan says:

        somewhere I read 14%. but the SEC will investigate him if he gets much over where he is now

    • Catlady says:

      This just furthers my suspicions that Tesla is a giant pyramid scheme.

    • Maida says:

      Agree, and I think the fiduciary aspect was key. He’d have had to agree not to harm the company with his behavior, and that would mean no more sh*t posting — which is clearly dear to his heart. Wouldn’t surprise me either if he wants to buy the company, since that’s Musk’s thing.

    • bisynaptic says:


  2. Noki says:

    So whent they sold him shares they dont do a background check?

    • Kate says:

      You can buy and sell publicly traded stock in the market, you don’t need a background check for that and the company doesn’t usually have anything to do with it.

  3. TheOtherDee says:

    His family made their wealth from a terrible, terrible exploitative business in apartheid SA, so everyone needs to be clear on his “background”, as it were. He also isn’t responsible for Tesla or SpaceX success, which is mostly down to the engineers he steals credit from and the floor workers he exposes to all kinds of abuse and won’t allow to unionize. He’s just a tech Trump, which is why I’m very sure his buying Twitter stock was just another clumsy, wasteful attempt to wade into a “culture war” issue because he has a god complex and thinks he can “solve” it.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Thank you. He’s the absolute worst and be wary of, if not completely scorn, anyone who idolizes him.

    • Hereforit says:

      Can you expand on his family’s dealings in sa and more about abusive practices at factories ty

      • TheOtherDee says:

        Blood diamonds, re: his family money.

        Rampant racial and sexual abuse at Tesla factories, from regular staff all the way up to the top. Labor violations, and active attempts to prevent unionization. He threatened to leave CA because they kept warning him about labor violations

    • Karennotkaren says:

      Yep. Same thing with PayPal – came in late and took all the credit.

    • Hereforit says:

      Not to keep bothering you but do they still own diamond mines and what about Union factory abuse ? If it’s not a bother I’ve just never followed him before

      • TheOtherDee says:

        Don’t know if they still own them, but I know the bulk of wealth was made at a time that working conditions there would have been anything from inhumane to unconscionable. So there’s that. Then there’s the present day Tesla factory, where apparently Black people (especially women) are targeted for harassment and abuse that management either ignores or takes part in.

      • Maida says:

        It was an emerald mine in Zambia, during apartheid, that Musk’s family owned part of. And, to Hereforit’s question about the mine and Tesla factory complaints, plenty of stories about both are readily available online from the LA Times and other sources.

        The complaints about Tesla factories include allegations of racism, sexual harassment, and efforts to sabotage unionization. California is currently suing Tesla over the racism complaints.

    • bisynaptic says:

      Also: THIS.

  4. DiegoInSF says:

    His fanboys are so scary it’s like a cult!
    When I was buying my first car last year, I swore I’d never even consider Tesla’s to not give this douche one red cent!

    • Peanut Butter says:

      Same. I have zero desire to throw any money at insufferably smug Elon Musk

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      I want an electric car. Ten years ago, when I didn’t know that much about him or Tesla, a Tesla was a goal. Now? Never.

      Plus what’s up with electric car batteries. We have to find a way to make them not as bad for the environment! Ugh!

  5. thaisajs says:

    He’s the CEO of a company that is a government contractor (SpaceX). If he can’t pass a background check for Twitter, then why is SpaceX getting NASA and/or defense department contracts? Maybe it is, as the PPer said, limits on how ownership in Twitter. But this all seems way shady.

    • Angelica Schuyler says:

      I don’t think it’s a question of whether or not he’s able to pass a background check. I think the question is whether he wants to open his business interests to the scrutiny involved in the check. He does not want to disclose certain holdings. And he probably does not want to be bound by certain trading and ownership restrictions that come along with the fiduciary responsibility of being a member of the Board. I have worked on Wall street for almost 30 years and have been restricted in what I could own, or trade, or discuss at any given point.

      I’m sure he wants to keep some of his shadier dealings hidden…

    • Lightpurple says:

      I answered this in my post above. The military and Twitter do NOT look at the same things. Twitter would look at whether his other holdings/board memberships create a conflict of interest with Twitter. The military doesn’t care whether he has a conflict of interest with Twitter.

  6. BGM2022 says:

    Elon is the absolute worst. I work in tech and have a couple of friends who report directly to him at Tesla, and I’ve never heard them say anything even *neutral* about him. Even though the statement draws attention to the background check, I think it’s mostly a combo of the fiduciary responsibility and the stock cap. Unfortunately, it’s starting to look a lot like hostile takeover time.

    • SomeChick says:

      I’m entirely sure it’s about the shitposting. Why would he want to give that up?!

      That said, what would be the problem if he did buy it? It could hardly be more of a cesspool than it already is.

    • Veronica S. says:

      I think he’s worse than Bezos, in all honesty. Old Jeffrey is just so rich he’s lost connection to reality. Musk has that element of cultish appeal that I think should worry people. He’s self-righteous about his wealth and ideology in a way that appeals to people who are attracted to figures who are loud and confidant and utterly devoid in self-reflection and awareness.

  7. InquiringMind says:

    These comments give me hope because I’m surrounded by perfectly intelligent men who become absolute idiots when talking about this cretin. His rampant misogyny, continued employee abuse & discrimination, which is well documented, and support of Trump & Putin are just the tip of the iceberg. I hope the media starts to do a better job holding Musk accountable because is hell bent on destroying our democracy to serve his own interests.

  8. bisynaptic says:

    Hostile takeover time.

  9. iseepinkelefants says:

    After watching Super Pumped, We Crashed and The Dropout I fully expect this to be a season of Super Pumped if they don’t already have a Musk season on the table.

    Poor Twitter. I’ve been a member since 2006, I call it the culture, mature social media, and I feel like Musk is gunning to ruin the only social media platform I care about.