Business

Elon Musk joins Twitter's board, says 'significant improvements' are coming

A day after revealing he owns a significant chunk of Twitter, Elon Musk has been given a major say in deciding how it's run.

While giving him more power, move actually limits how much of the company he can own

Elon Musk becomes Twitter’s largest shareholder, sparking questions on motive

4 months ago
Duration 2:02
In an unexpected move, Tesla CEO Elon Musk acquired a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter — becoming the social media company’s largest shareholder. Musk hasn’t publicly disclosed a motive, but some experts say they’re concerned he could use his stake to change the tone of Twitter.

A day after revealing he owns a significant chunk of Twitter, Elon Musk has been given a major say in deciding how it's run.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said in a tweet early Tuesday that Musk has been named to the company's board of directors, giving him a say in the company's strategic direction.

"He's both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need ...  to make us stronger in the long-term," Agrawal said. "Welcome Elon!"

"Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months," Musk replied.

According to the regulatory filing announcing the move, Musk will be named a director of the company for a term that will expire in 2024.

The move comes a day after it was revealed that Musk has quietly been buying up shares in the company, accumulating more than 73 million of them in recent weeks — more than anyone else owns.

"Behind the scenes, he is going to be very vocal, very influential," cybersecurity analyst Ritesh Kotak told CBC News in an interview. "I think this is going to be really interesting to see the future of this platform." 

While a major coup for the man who has criticized Twitter harshly on issues of free speech, Tuesday's development means that there will now be a limit on how many more shares of the company he can own.

Currently, Musk owns about 9.2 per cent of all the Twitter shares in circulation. As a board member, he's forbidden from owning more than 14.9 per cent, which means he is now less likely to try to buy up the entire company, as some have speculated he might want to.

An 'edit' button?

It's not immediately clear what changes Musk may wish to see, but a tweet on Monday suggests he is considering adding an edit button, which would allow users to alter tweets after they have been posted.

Musk asked his 80 million followers to weigh in on the oft-discussed idea on Monday and by Tuesday morning, about three-quarters of the more than three million votes on the issue were in favour.

"The consequences of this poll will be important," Agrawal said of Musk's tweet. "Please vote carefully."

With files from the CBC's Meegan Read

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