Elon Musk asks users who should have the final say in his bid to buy Twitter, CEO says 'no one man' can change the company

Elon Musk polled Twitter users on whether shareholders, not the board, should have the power to decide the company's future.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

Elon Musk polled Twitter users on whether shareholders, not the board, should have the power to decide the company's future.

On Thursday, Elon Musk took to Twitter to ask users who should have the final say in his bid to buy the social media company.

He suggested that shareholders, not the board of directors, should decide whether to accept his offer to take the company private.

At the time of writing, the vast majority of respondents said "yes," agreeing with Musk's statement.

Not long after, Twitter held an employee all-hands meeting to discuss the offer. According to the Wall Street Journal, CEO Parag Agrawal said "no one man can change" the company, but did not elaborate on the state of Musk's offer.

Musk made an unsolicited offer to buy the company for $43 billion on Thursday, prompting the board to respond. In a statement, they said they "will carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders."

As the New York Times reports, Goldman Sachs is advising Twitter as they review the offer.

Musk posted a screenshot of Goldman Sachs' Q4 review of Twitter, wherein it was given a 12-month sell price target of only $30. He questioned why the company would not accept his offer of nearly double that per share.

It has been argued that if the board refuses Musk's offer, the stock could tank, thus making it look like they were not looking out for investors' best interests.

Following the news that the board wanted to assume the role of decision-maker, Musk suggested that it would be "utterly indefensible not to put this offer to a shareholder vote."

"They own the company," he added, "not the board of directors."

Not all shareholders are on his side, however. Saudi Prince Al Waleed, who owns over 5%, publicly rejected Musk's offer, arguing that it was too low given the company's potential to grow.

In response, Musk grilled the prince on Saudi Arabia's lack of freedom of speech.

Musk's motivations for buying Twitter have been clear from the beginning. He has stated numerous times that the company must do better to uphold the principles of free speech.

In an interview at the TED conference in Vancouver, Musk elaborated on his views.

"I think it's very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech," he said. "Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square. So it's just really important that people have the both the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law and so one of the things that I believe Twitter should do is open source the algorithm and make any changes to people's tweets or their emphasize or de-emphasized that action should be made apparent so you anyone can see that has been taken. So there's no sort of behind-the-scenes manipulation, either algorithmically or manually."


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