CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted about the news after Musk’s appointment was made official in an SEC filing. During his two-year term on the board, and shortly thereafter, Musk is not allowed to own more than 14.9% of the company’s shares. Musk acquired 9% of Twitter on March 14, paying about $2.9 billion, according to an SEC filing on Monday.
“Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our board,” Agrawal wrote.
Musk responded in a tweet, “Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!”
It isn’t clear exactly what his plans are as an investor and once he joins the board, but he has recently been making oblique criticisms of the company for restricting speech. Last December, he posted a meme likening Agrawal and co-founder Jack Dorsey to figures from Stalinist Russia. More recently, he polled his 80 million Twitter followers about whether they felt the platform respected free speech. More than 70% weighed in against Twitter, prompting Musk to muse about launching his own platform.
Agrawal described Musk as “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.”
Today’s SEC filing says Musk’s board seat will be good until the company’s 2024 annual shareholder meeting. This year’s meeting is set for May 25.
Musk will also not be able to directly engineer a corporate takeover, based on the language in the filing. “For so long as Mr. Musk is serving on the Board and for 90 days thereafter, Mr. Musk will not, either alone or as a member of a group, become the beneficial owner of more than 14.9% of the company’s common stock outstanding at such time,” the filing says, “including for these purposes economic exposure through derivative securities, swaps, or hedging transactions.”
Musk, who has become one of the richest people on the planet, with a net worth in the range of $270 billion, was a co-founder of PayPal and went on to found Tesla and SpaceX.