Elon Musk is expected to assume the role of Twitter CEO at least temporarily after his $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform is complete, sources said. As a result of the news, Tesla shares (NASDAQ: TSLA) dropped nearly 7 percent based on Musk’s commitment to Twitter, which could become a distraction from his already busy schedule of running the electric automaker and aerospace company SpaceX.
Sources told CNBC on Thursday that Musk will serve as temporary Twitter CEO for “a few months” after the deal is complete. SEC filings stated Musk will officially complete the acquisition by October 24, six months after Twitter announced it had accepted the Tesla frontman’s offer of $54.20 per share.
Musk, who secured approximately $7.14 billion in equity commitments according to SEC filings on Thursday, plans to replace current Twitter frontman Parag Agrawal according to a report from Reuters in April. An all-hands meeting with Twitter brass after the acquisition announcement confirmed even company executives are unsure what management will look like after Musk takes over. “Once the deal closes, we don’t know which direction the platform will go,” said on the call, which leaked on YouTube.
Musk wanted to take over Twitter because he disagreed with the platform’s censorship strategy. Stating Twitter was 2022’s Town Hall, Musk said it needs to be “an inclusive arena for free speech,” and plans to monetize government and corporate communications on the platform.
Tesla Investor Skepticism
Tesla shares dropped sharply on Thursday following news that Musk would temporarily assume Twitter’s CEO role. At the time of writing, Tesla shares traded at around $877, down 7.92 percent. Shares are down over 12 percent since Musk’s Twitter acquisition was announced on April 25.
“I’ll say it: I don’t like @elonmusk running $TWTR temporarily when the deal closes. Running $TSLA +SpaceX is already a full time job, even for a workaholic like Elon. Finding a talented driven CEO of $TWTR in SV has to be easier than monetizing TWTR and fixing its broken culture,” analyst Gary Black said. “Finding a CEO who shares Elon’s vision about how to monetize $TWTR, is willing to work 24/7, knows the adv business cold, and who can fix the TWTR culture, shouldn’t be that hard. While Elon could certainly do it, he’s already got a 24/7 job. It would be like @Jack Act II.”
“The interim CEO report is the concern for Tesla investors as this becomes a fear of distraction and focus of Musk. This is weighing on shares,” Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities told Teslarati.
Musk is undoubtedly known for his heavy work ethic, sometimes sleeping at Tesla’s production facilities and joining associates on manufacturing lines. While Tesla and SpaceX have had arguably the busiest years in their histories, it does seem that Musk could be spreading himself thin if he chooses to onboard additional responsibilities at Twitter. However, it remains to be seen what Musk’s ultimate role as temporary CEO will entail.
Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder. He is not a TWTR Shareholder.
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