Elon Musk’s appointment to Twitter’s board restricts his influence — for now

Elon Musk’s arrival on Twitter’s board has sparked both hopes and fears about the platform’s future, but his appointment has constrained his power — for now. Musk has agreed to cap his Twitter stake at 14.9% during his stint on the board and for 90 days thereafter. His term is set to end in 2024. The Tesla tycoon’s existing 9.2% stake makes him the platform’s largest shareholder. If he wants to push it over 14.9%, he will have to relinquish his seat. The restriction applies to Musk as either the sole owner or as a member of a group — which should prevent his billionaire buddies from buying another portion. While the mogul will wield vast influence over the company, the agreement reduces the risks of a hostile takeover or board shakeup. Musk’s appointment was revealed days after he questioned Twitter’s protection of free speech. Yet his supporters shouldn’t be too disappointed if his ambitions are checked. The entrepreneur has a history of silencing critics with legal threats, firing employees who disagree with him, and requiring customers to sign non-disclosure agreements in exchange for service. Musk’s new role at Twitter may safeguard his own speech, but don’t expect Space Karen to share his privileges with the proles — even if he gains complete control of the platform.