Twitter Critic Elon Musk Is Now Its Biggest Shareholder
Musk’s stake in the social media platform has been valued at nearly $3 billion.
Elon Musk is putting his money where his mouth is.
The brash Tesla CEO–who is generally considered to be the world’s richest man–just purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter Inc. according to a Monday filing from the SEC.
Musk’s stake in Twitter was valued at $2.89 billion, reports CNBC. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced soon after on the platform that Musk had been added to Twitter’s board, adding, “Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to use that he would bring great value to our board.”
Musk then replied, “Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!”
Musk’s surprise purchase comes roughly a week after the multi-billionaire criticized Twitter for a lack of commitment to free speech, and suggested he was considering launching a new social media platform.
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk tweeted March 26. “What should be done?”
“Is a new platform needed?” he tweeted later.
Some financial analysts speculated on what Musk’s Twitter buying spree was really about.
“Musk could try to take a more aggressive stance here on Twitter,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Monday on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
“This eventually could lead to some sort of buyout. This makes sense given what Musk has at least been talking about, at least from a social media perspective.”
Musk is a frequent user of Twitter and has more than 80 million followers on the platform. However, some of his tweets have gotten the Tesla and SpaceX boss into hot water over the years, reports CNBC.
On Aug. 7, 2018, Musk tweeted he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The 12 months following that tweet were a roller coaster for Musk and Tesla shareholders.
In that time, the company set performance records, but also had to deal with litigation, government inquiries and layoffs. Musk also reached a settlement with the SEC that removed him from the role of chairman at Tesla.
But Musk clearly still enjoys tweaking fellow public figures on Twitter, ranging from challenging Vladimir Putin to a fist fight on behalf of Ukraine to branding Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Senator Karen” after she criticized Musk being named Time’s 2021 Person of the Year.