Tech

Twitter shareholders vote to boot Silver Lake co-CEO Durban, a longtime Musk backer, from board

Key Points
  • A Twitter spokesperson told CNBC that Egon Durban "has tendered his resignation" from the board, which hasn't decided whether to accept it.
  • Durban is a longtime business associate and backer of Elon Musk, who agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion but has since shown deep reluctance to go through with the deal.
The Twitter logo is displayed on a smartphone screen on April 14, 2021.
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Twitter shareholders on Wednesday voted to boot Egon Durban, the co-CEO and managing director of private equity firm Silver Lake, from its board of directors as the company navigates through testy negotiations with would-be buyer Elon Musk.

Durban's firm has worked on deals with Musk in the past. But the private equity businessman didn't receive enough votes from Twitter investors at the company's shareholder meeting to be reelected to the board.

The tally comes after Musk agreed to buy Twitter in a deal worth $44 billion. News of the acquisition sent shock waves through Twitter's investor base and across its workforce. But with Twitter's stock falling alongside the rest of the market, Musk has since expressed deep reluctance about the deal, claiming the company hasn't been truthful or transparent about the prevalence of bots on the network.

Tesla shares have plummeted since Musk's bid for Twitter on concern that the billionaire CEO, who already has a hefty additional workload as CEO of SpaceX, will be even more distracted as owner of the social media company.

In a statement to CNBC, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed the shareholder vote.

"In accordance with the Company's Corporate Governance Guidelines, Egon Durban has tendered his resignation to the Board, with the effectiveness of such resignation conditioned upon the Board's acceptance of such resignation," the spokesperson said in an email. "The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board will promptly consider whether to recommend that the Board accept Mr. Durban's resignation and provide an update in due course."

Twitter said it will have more details in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it plans to release late Wednesday.

Durban, through Silver Lake, is a longtime business associate and backer of Musk companies. A clean energy division of his investment firm poured $100 million into Musk's solar business, SolarCity, before it was acquired by Tesla, which Musk runs. And when Musk proclaimed in 2018 that he was going to take Tesla private, he said he was working with Silver Lake as a financial adviser. That deal never happened.

Both men currently serve on the board of entertainment conglomerate Endeavor, which is led by Ari Emanuel.

Silver Lake didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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A timeline of the Elon Musk-Twitter takeover saga