Elon Musk will join Twitter’s board of directors after taking a 9.2% stake in the social media company, the billionaire and Tesla chief executive has become the social media platform’s largest shareholder. The news sent Twitter’s shares up more than 2% on Tuesday.
“Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board,” CEO Parag Agrawal said in a tweet.
“He’s 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,” Agrawal added.
Former chief Jack Dorsey said in a tweet that Musk “cares deeply about our world and Twitter’s role in it.”
“I’ve wanted Elon on the board for a long time,” Dorsey later added.
Musk’s term is set to expire in 2024, according to a filing with the SEC. For his entire board term or 90 days after, Musk cannot be the beneficial owner of more than 14.9% of the company’s common stock outstanding.
Musk has often criticized the social media company, in one instance last month, he polled people on Twitter about whether the platform adheres to free speech principles. He later said he was considering building a new social media platform.
After he was named to the board, Musk on Tuesday teased he would push for adjustments to the product.
“Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!” Musk said in a tweet.
As the largest shareholder and member of the board, Musk could have significant sway over the company’s business. In the past, Musk has criticized Twitter’s moderation of users’ speech, leading some to believe he may be looking to influence the company’s policy regarding speech moderation. But all in all, investors were responding positively to the news.
Twitter stock was up 4.1% on Tuesday. The shares gained 27% on Monday , its best day since its IPO — after Musk announced his stake.
Hours after his holding in the company was revealed, Musk took to Twitter to poll users on interest in an edit button. Agrawal retweeted the post, urging people to “vote carefully” as the consequences “will be important.”
Musk’s investment comes at a key time for the social media company. Agrawal, who took over from Jack Dorsey in November, has said he would focus on metrics and accelerate Twitter’s work to bring new products to customers. He’s also under pressure to reach the company’s aggressive internal goals, including growing Twitter to 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023. Twitter reported 217 million monetizable daily active users for its most recent quarter.
Musk is a keen Twitter user with more than 80.5 million followers on the platform. However, he’s also got in trouble several times over his tweets. In 2018, Musk tweeted he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share, which led to litigation. Musk has since agreed to submit his public statements about Tesla’s finances and other topics to vetting by its legal counsel.
He was also subpoenaed by the SEC in November after he asked his Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock, causing the shares to fall.