Elon Musk to make more Twitter noise despite no board membership

Musk hints about what's ahead in SEC filing

Elon Musk confirmed that he will not be joining Twitter's board of directors while hinting that he will not be silenced on his views about the direction of the platform or how it's being run.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated April 9, Musk confirmed that he declined Twitter's invitation last week to join its board, and signaled multiple ways he could exert influence on the firm moving forward.

elon-musk-walks-by-tesla-picture-in-china

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Reuters/Aly Song/File Photo/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

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The filing indicates that Musk – the CEO of Tesla and wealthiest person in the world – may increase his 9.2% stake in Twitter, which is significant because joining the board would have prohibited him from owning more than 14.9% of the company during his tenure. Without that restriction, Musk – already Twitter's largest shareholder – could buy an even bigger chunk of the firm.

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Musk, who has been a frequent critic of the social media giant even on its own platform, also hinted that he does not intend to stay quiet about his views on the company either directly to its management team or in the public sphere.

His latest SEC filing on Monday states that "from time to time" he "may engage in discussions with the Board" or the company's "management team concerning, including, without limitation, potential business combinations and strategic alternatives, the business operations, capital structure, governance, management," strategy or matters concerning him.

It goes on to state that Musk may express his views directly to board members or executives "and/or the public through social media or other channels with respect to [Twitter's] business, products and service offerings."

Parag Agrawal Twitter

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal ( Twitter | Istock / iStock)

The April 9 filing was submitted the same day Musk had been set to begin a two-year term on Twitter's board. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced Sunday night that Musk had turned down the offer, which he said had been extended because the board "believed that having Elon as a fiduciary of the company," where he "has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward."

Agrawal said he now believes that Musk's decision not to join the board "is for the best."

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Musk turning down the board position means he could be gearing up for "battle," according to one analyst.

"This now goes from a Cinderella story with Musk joining the Twitter Board and keeping his stake under 14.9% helping move Twitter strategically forward to likely a ‘Game of Thrones’ battle between Musk and Twitter with the high likelihood that Elon takes a more hostile stance toward Twitter and further builds his active stake in the company," Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note to clients on Monday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands at the opening of the company's Berlin factory.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Germany on March 22, 2022. (Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP / AP Newsroom)

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Musk also appeared to confirm that he had been asked by Twitter's board to tone down his criticisms of the platform when he "liked" a tweet sent to Agrawal on Monday morning that read, "Let me break this down for you: Elon became largest shareholder for Free Speech. Elon was told to play nice and not speak freely."

FOX Business' Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.