Tech

Twitter shares up at close after Elon Musk abandons plan to join board

Key Points
  • Elon Musk informed Twitter on Saturday morning that he would not, in fact, take a board seat.
  • CEO Parag Agrawal announced publicly on Sunday that Musk is still the largest shareholder of Twitter, and the company will remain open to his input.
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Twitter stock remained positive at the close Monday after CEO Parag Agrawal revealed that Elon Musk has abandoned his plan to join the company's board.

The social media company's stock briefly tumbled more than 8% to less than $43 a share at 4 a.m. ET before recovering. Shares of Twitter were volatile throughout the day but closed up 1.7% at $47.01

On April 5, Musk and Twitter said he would be joining Twitter's board. A day earlier, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO disclosed via financial filings that he's Twitter's biggest shareholder, with a 9.2% stake in the firm.

Musk would have been appointed to Twitter's board on Saturday, but the world's richest man informed the company that day that he would not be taking the board seat.

"Elon has decided not to join our board," Agrawal wrote Sunday on Twitter. "I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here."

Elon Musk's Twitter profile displayed on a computer screen and Twitter logo displayed on a phone screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on April 9, 2022.
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

In the note, Agrawal said that Musk remains the largest shareholder of Twitter, and the company will remain open to his input.

"We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks," he wrote. "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."

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Agrawal did not say whether Musk gave specific reasons for changing his mind about taking on the new obligation or whether it was entirely Musk's decision.

If Musk had joined the board, he would not be able to acquire more than 14.9% of the company's shares. Now he can theoretically increase his stake if he so desires. Some industry experts speculated on Twitter that he may now try to take over the company.

Timeline of events

Twitter's stock jumped 4% on Tuesday following the board announcement before ending the day up 2%. A day earlier, after Musk's stake was initially revealed, Twitter had its best day since the company's IPO in 2013, skyrocketing more than 27%. 

Throughout the weekend, Musk posted a number of critiques of Twitter and ideas for to transform the social media company and its products.

One of the suggestions was a coarse joke in the form of a Twitter poll. Musk asked people to vote on whether Twitter should drop the "w" from its name. Doing so would turn Twitter into "titter," an allusion to female anatomy.

More serious suggestions from Musk included letting Twitter Blue subscribers pay with dogecoin, get an "authentication" checkmark and keep Twitter Blue free of advertisements.

"Everyone who signs up for Twitter Blue (ie pays $3/month) should get an authentication checkmark," Musk wrote. "And no ads. The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive."

Musk also advised Twitter to turn its headquarters office in San Francisco into a homeless shelter, "since no one shows up anyway."

He also suggested Twitter user numbers are inflated by bots and at one point asked if Twitter is dying.

Additional reporting by CNBC's Lora Kolodny.