Elon Musk’s sharp plan to save Twitter $3M a year out of the gate may explain board’s resistance

Whether or not the board of directors over at Twitter thought they had heard the last of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk after turning down his generous offer to buy the company remains unknown, but it is now clear if given the chance, Musk will make sure that same board won’t ever impact the social media company’s decisions again.

The board led by CEO Parag Agrawal had decided Friday to adopt a “poison pill” strategy after turning down the $43 billion offer to privatize Twitter. Under this plan meant to “prevent or discourage a potential hostile takeover,” shareholders would be allowed to purchase additional shares at a discount in order to limit a shareholder from gaining a controlling interest beyond a 15 percent stake, as previously reported.

Musk had already pointed out the “liability” the board would assume if they took “actions contrary to shareholder interests,” pointing to the same fiduciary duty they were prepared to hold him accountable to in the agreement he turned down as part of his chance to join the board before he moved to buy the company.

Late Friday, Twitter user Chris Bakke pointed out just how “contrary” the board’s actions were when he posted a breakdown of the mere 77 shares collectively owned by the current members.

The billionaire plainly stated without founder Jack Dorsey, “the Twitter board collectively owns almost no shares! Objectively, their economic interests are simply not aligned with shareholders.”

Gary Black, an SEC-registered investment adviser, and managing partner for The Future Fund LLC took a deeper dive into the board and was happy to point out that, while they have next to no investment in the company, they benefit a great deal.

“If @elonmusk takes $TWTR private, the TWTR board members don’t have jobs any more, which pays them $250K-$300K per year for what is a nice part-time job,” Black wrote with a graphic that broke down their compensation. “That could explain a lot.”

Musk had a very simple solution to this that not only would prevent the board from ever making decisions that benefit themselves more than the company again but would assure a budget savings of around $3 million annually from day one under his potential ownership.

Totaling the board’s current compensation, Musk readily pointed out that he would eliminate the salary for board members and, perhaps in a tongue-in-cheek way, suggested there might no longer be a board should he gain control.

Even Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey readily admitted that the aims of the board had always been problematic for the company after one user pointed out it has been “mired in plots and coups.”

When asked by another user if he was “allowed to say” that, Dorsey flatly responded “no.”

While others consider throwing their hats in to make an offer on Twitter, and Musk may be considering joining with others in his bid to take over the company, Matthew Peterson, founder of The American Mind, succinctly put it, “You gotta enjoy this ride, wherever it goes.”


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