Twitter’s CEO has said it is “for the best” after Elon Musk decided not to join the social media giant’s board, despite becoming the company’s single largest shareholder.
Parag Agrawal said the Tesla and SpaceX founder relayed his decision on Saturday – the day he was due to be appointed.
“I believe this is for the best,” Mr Agrawal said, adding that the company had been “clear about the risks” of Musk joining the board, without giving specific reasons.
However, the board had felt it best for Musk to be a “fiduciary of the company”, he added, meaning that “he, like all board members, has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders”.
Musk appeared to have been looking forward to joining the board, tweeting on Thursday that its next meeting was “gonna be lit”.
Musk, who describes himself as a free-speech absolutist, has been critical of Twitter in the past.
After Donald Trump was barred from Facebook and Twitter, Musk tweeted that many people would be unhappy with US tech companies acting as the “de facto arbiter of free speech”.
Before taking his stake, he ran a poll asking users if they believed Twitter adheres to the principle of free speech.
A day after becoming the largest shareholder, he asked users if they wanted an edit button, something the site has been working on.
He has also proposed allowing users to pay for the premium subscription service – Twitter Blue – with the cryptocurrency dogecoin.
Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters could be turned into a homeless shelter, Musk has suggested.
He tweeted a hand-over-face emoji following Mr Agrawal’s announcement.
The CEO said the board had been “excited to collaborate” with Musk subject to a “background check”, and had “many discussions” about it, both among themselves and with Musk.
“Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input,” Mr Agrawal added in a tweeted statement.
Twitter had already informed the US securities regulator that Musk would join the board as a Class II director after he bought a 9.2% stake worth almost $3bn.
Shares soared by 27% after he disclosed that stake.
They were 3% down at Monday’s open when the market got its first chance to react to the news he would not take up the board seat though they later staged a recovery.
The board offer had concerned some Twitter employees, who were worried about his stance on moderation.
Several staff told the Reuters news agency that Musk’s views could weaken years-long efforts to make Twitter a place of healthy discourse, and might allow trolling and mob attacks to flourish.