Musk Has Some Fighting Words For Twitter Board Members

(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Monday that Twitter board members will be paid no salary if his offer to buy out the platform succeeds.

Several Twitter board members have earned hundreds of thousands in stock shareholding and fees, records show. Managing Partner of the Future Fund LLC, Gary Black, said the board members will be out of jobs if Musk makes Twitter private.

“Let me point out the obvious: If @elonmusk takes $TWTR private, the TWTR board members don’t have jobs anymore, which pays them $250K-$300K per year for what is a nice part time job,” Black said. “That could explain a lot.”

“Board salary will be $0 if my bid succeeds, so that’s $3M/year saved right there,” Musk replied.

Twitter’s board is reportedly considering a “poison pill” to prevent Musk from purchasing the whole company. A poison pill would allow other shareholders to buy more shares in the company at a cheaper price. The other shareholders buying up stock could theoretically dilute Musk’s ownership stake and prevent him from buying enough shares to become the controlling stakeholder. If Musk triggers the poison pill, only other shareholders will be able to buy additional shares at the discount price.

“If the current Twitter board takes actions contrary to shareholder interests, they would be breaching their fiduciary duty,” Musk tweeted Thursday. “The liability they would thereby assume would be titanic in scale.” (RELATED: Musk Isn’t Joining Twitter’s Board After All) 

The Tesla CEO offered the board’s chair, Bret Taylor, $43.4 billion to purchase Twitter late Wednesday saying he will “unlock” the platform’s “extraordinary potential.” He initially purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter in early April, becoming the largest stakeholder.

Musk said Thursday there is a “Plan B” if the Twitter board rejects his offer during his appearance at a TED talk. He expressed doubt that his multibillion-dollar offer will succeed.

“I think we’d like to hear a little bit about Plan B,” TED head Chris Anderson said.

“For another time I think,” Musk replied.

The billionaire said a sign of “healthy, functioning free speech” is when someone is allowed to say something that another does not like, and when in doubt, allow the disputed tweet to exist.