According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Elon Musk now owns a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter.
The filings state that as of March 14, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX owned 73,486,938 Twitter shares, which are currently worth around £3billion. This makes Musk the biggest shareholder of Twitter, with founder Jack Dorsey owning just 2.25 per cent of the social media company.
It comes as last month, Musk held a poll on Twitter. “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle,” he wrote, with over 70 per cent of the 2million responders voting “no”.
“The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully,” he then wrote, perhaps hinting at a shake up.
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
Musk has a muddied history with Twitter. In December, after it was announced that Parag Agrawal was taking over from Dorsey as Twitter’s CEO, Musk posted a meme showing Agrawal as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Dorsey as Soviet secret police head Nikolai Yezhov being shoved into water.
And earlier this year, he criticised Twitter’s announcement about NFT profile pictures, calling it “annoying”.
This is annoying pic.twitter.com/KAkDl29CTX
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2022
It’s also been reported that Musk is trying to get out of an agreement with the SEC, that requires him to show tweets containing material business information to a company lawyer before sending them out.
The £30million settlement came about in 2018, after the CEO tweeted he could take the company private at $420 (£320) a share, causing Tesla’s stock price to climb by 6%. The SEC then sued Musk for securities fraud. Part of the settlement called for “additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk’s communications.”
According to Musk’s lawyers, the agreement violates his free speech but the SEC responded by saying as long as Musk uses his Twitter account to give information to investors, the SEC “may legitimately investigate matters relating to Tesla’s disclosure controls and procedures, including Musk’s tweets about Tesla.”