Twitter is adding Tesla CEO Elon Musk to its board of directors, putting the eccentric critic and user of the social media platform in a leadership position to have influence over business decisions at the company.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced Tuesday that Mr. Musk‘s inclusion on the board comes after weeks of conversations with the electric vehicle and space travel tycoon.
“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,” Mr. Agrawal tweeted. “Welcome Elon!”
Mr. Musk took a 9.2% passive stake in Twitter, a purchase of nearly 73.5 million shares, according to a regulatory filing Monday. The investment was valued at an estimated $2.9 billion before news of his pursuit of Twitter drove the company’s stock price higher during trading Monday.
Mr. Musk replied on Twitter to Mr. Agrawal that he is looking forward to working with him and to “make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!”
According to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Musk will serve as a board member with a term that expires at the company’s 2024 meeting of stockholders. Twitter’s 2022 stockholder meeting will be held next month, when other board members will be elected to terms lasting until 2025.
Twitter’s regulatory filing on Tuesday said Mr. Musk will not own more than 14.9% of Twitter’s stock individually or with a group so long as he is on the board or for 90 days after any departure.
Mr. Musk has relied on his Twitter following to inform his thinking about the platform.
Last month, he polled his followers about whether they believe Twitter was committed to free speech, and they overwhelmingly answered no. He then responded with open questions about whether a new platform is needed and what should be done.
After news of Mr. Musk’s stake in Twitter trended as a topic of conversation among users Monday, he posed a new question, asking if people want an edit button. Mr. Musk’s tweet displayed nearly 3 million votes in 12 hours.
Meta chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth said on Twitter that Facebook solved the editing problem long ago by including a change log allowing people to see a post’s revision.
“Facebook gives me the willies,” Mr. Musk replied.