Twitter stock rises as Elon Musk mulls next move

'I believe this is for the best,' Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said

Tesla CEO Elon Musk declined to join Twitter's board of directors, the social media company's chief executive announced Sunday.

"Elon has decided not to join our board," Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted. "I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here."

Shares rose in Monday's morning session. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TWTR TWITTER INC. 38.23 +0.84 +2.25%

Musk, a critic who recently accused Twitter of stifling free speech, recently purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter, having bought 73.5 million shares for roughly $2.9 billion. 

ELON MUSK PURCHASES STAKE IN TWITTER AFTER SLAMMING ITS APPROACH TO ‘FREE SPEECH’

"The Board and I had many discussions about Elon joining the board, and with Elon directly," Agrawal wrote in the note to employees. "We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks. We also believed that having Elon as a fiduciary of the company where he, like all board members, has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward. The board offered him a seat."

"We announced on Tuesday that Elon would be appointed to the Board contingent on a background check and formal acceptance," the CEO continued. "Elon's appointment to the board was to become officially effective 4/9, but Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board. I believe this is for the best."

Elon Musk

Twitter headquarters is seen in San Francisco, California, on Oct. 27, 2021. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via / Getty Images)

"We have and will always value input from our shareholders whether they are on our Board or not," Agrawal continued. "Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input."

The CEO concluded his note by urging employees to ignore "distractions," to "tune out the noise, and stay focused on the work and what we're building."

After Musk's 9.2% stake in the company, he created a Twitter poll asking whether the company should add an edit button, a long-demanded feature. The cheeky "yse" option won with 73.6% of votes.

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"Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy," Musk tweeted on March 26. "What should be done?"

Twitter branding is displayed ahead of the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Jan. 5, 2020. (Twitter  |  Robyn Beck/AFP via / Getty Images)

In a more recent poll, Musk asked if the social media company should "Convert Twitter SF HQ to homeless shelter since no one shows up anyway." That suggestion received 91.3% support.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos responded to the idea, suggesting a compromise.

"Or do portion. Worked out great and makes it easy for employees who want to volunteer," Bezos responded. Amazon houses a homeless shelter in its Seattle, Washington headquarters, which occupies part of the building.

Elon Musk during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on Feb. 10, 2022. (Jim Watson/AFP via / Getty Images)

Musk did not immediately respond to an after-hours request for comment on the decision.

Twitter reportedly set up its arrangement with Musk so that he cannot own 15% of the company while sitting on its board. The Tesla CEO's decision to step off the board raises questions about that arrangement.

"Elon joining Twitter's board was contingent on him agreeing not to buy more than 15% of Twitter. Now he's not joining the board. So does that mean he can he [sic] buy as much of Twitter's outstanding stock as he wants?" New York Focus Managing Editor Peter Sterne asked on Twitter.