Court documents show Musk and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey discussed changes to the platform ahead of the $44 billion buyout
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey had communicated privately on the social media platform long before the former made a $44 billion takeover bid, according to recently revealed court records.
A series of text messages exchanged between the two appeared to show Dorsey tried to get Musk on Twitter’s board at least a year before the Tesla CEO offered to buy the company last April.
In a text sent on March 26, 2022, Dorsey wrote to Musk that “A new platform is needed. It can’t be a business. That’s why I left. He explained that he thinks Twitter should be a “open-source protocol” and cannot be based on an advertising model, as most social media companies are.
Musk replied saying he would “I’d like to help if I can,” to which Dorsey said he had already tried to involve Tesla’s CEO in the company a year earlier. “You care so much, you understand its importance and you could definitely help immeasurably,” Dorsey told Musk before revealing that the “risk averse” board of directors had rejected the idea.
Dorsey said he thought it was “completely stupid and backward” that Twitter’s board saw Musk’s inclusion as an addition “more risk” to the company and claimed that was when he decided to step down as CEO of the platform, which he did in November 2021.
The text messages also suggest Dorsey tried to get Musk to join the board as the company battled with activist investment firm Elliott Management in 2020, whose founder Paul Singer was seeking to oust Dorsey as a CEO and making the business side of Twitter more profitable. “Back when we brought in the activist, I did my best to sign you up on our board and our board said no.” Dorsey wrote.
Just over a week after the text exchange, Musk announced that he planned to join the Twitter forum. He eventually changed course and offered to buy the company to fight the social media giant’s policies which he said were hostile to free speech.
However, after agreeing to buy Twitter for $44 billion at $54.20 per share, Musk decided to walk away from the deal a month later after the company’s stock price plummeted. Musk’s lawyers argued he was misled about Twitter and raised concerns about privacy, security and the number of fake accounts on the platform.
Twitter is in turn suing the billionaire in an attempt to force him to honor his part of the deal and complete the purchase at the price originally offered. A trial is scheduled for mid-October at Delaware Chancery Court.
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