Elon Musk Takes 9.2% Stake in Twitter After Hinting at Shake-Up
Elon Musk took a 9.2% stake in Twitter Inc. to become the platform’s biggest shareholder, a week after hinting he might shake up the social media industry.
Twitter shares surged as much as 26% after Musk’s purchase was revealed Monday in a regulatory filing, the stock’s biggest intraday increase in more than four years. The stake is worth about $2.89 billion, based on Friday’s market close.
Musk, 50, polled his more than 80 million followers on Twitter last month, asking them whether the company adheres to the principles of free speech. After more than 70% said no, he asked whether a new platform was needed and said he was giving serious thought to starting his own.
Musk has been one of the biggest personalities on Twitter and has regularly run into trouble on the platform. The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer is currently seeking to exit a 2018 deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that put controls in place related to his tweeting about the electric-car maker.
The announcement will be yet another major test for new Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who replaced Jack Dorsey after he unexpectedly resigned in November. Agrawal vowed to increase accountability, make decisions faster and to improve product execution. The company set ambitious goals for growth including increasing annual revenue to $7.5 billion and getting to 315 million daily users by the end of 2023.