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Elon Musk won't join Twitter's board after all

Management promises it will keep listening, and Elon shows no sign of going quiet

SpaceX and Tesla tycoon Elon Musk won't be joining Twitter's board, despite last week revealing he had acquired a 9.2 per cent stake in the microblogging service.

News of the change of heart came in a tweet from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who got straight to the point: "Elon has decided not to join our board. I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here."

That note, added as an image bearing text, opened "Dear Team" and explained that Musk on Friday advised he would not join the board.

No explanation of the change of mind was offered.

But Agrawal's post offers a hint. It mentions that had Musk taken a seat, he would have been compelled "to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders."

Musk's many criticisms of Twitter – and personal advocacy for features that fit his belief in maximal free speech – are arguably not in the company's best interests. Having him continue to espouse them while on the company board may well have attracted the sort of regulatory attention no company desires.

An example of Musk's output that might not be entirely compatible with a board seat include these weekend missives.

The Register submits that eroding Twitter's brand equity by renaming for nervous laughter, then ditching its main revenue source, might not be proposals that deserve lengthy debate at the company's board meetings.

But what would your correspondent know, seeing as it is Musk, and not I, who found nearly $3 billion with which to buy a slab of Twitter? ®

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