Billionaire investor Elon Musk has put a significant part of his money on the platform where his mouth often rants-Twitter.
Musk acquired a 9.2% stake in the micro-blogging platform, making him the largest shareholder. Although he is a fierce critic of the platform for what he terms as failing to adhere to free speech, he is also a fervent user, often posting official announcements, complaints and personal opinions. He enjoys a massive following of more than 80 million followers.
Musk’s investment in the company is considered passive, at least for now. This means he doesn’t have a controlling stake, although observers see it as an indication that he could be pushing to have a bigger role at the company.
“We would expect this passive stake as just the start of broader conversations with the Twitter board/management that could ultimately lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter,” Said an observer.
Musk has been calling on Twitter to relax its moderation regulations and allow more freedom of speech.
In recent years, Twitter has cracked down on users on accusations ranging from harassment, death threats and misinformation.
Former US President Donald Trump is among the prominent personalities who faced the wrath of the company. President Trump was permanently banned from Twitter in January 2021.
The investor’s interest in the platform has been a subject of public speculation. Just last month, he tweeted: “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?”
Although Musk’s future intentions aren’t clear at this point, it’s deducible that he has more interests than just frequently using the platform for communication or earning dividends from his investment.
“I think he intends to go active and force change at Twitter,” said Dan Ives, a tech analyst at Wedbush Securities. “This is a shot across the bow at Twitter’s board and management team to start discussions.”
The investment by the billionaire CEO saw Twitter’s shares surge as much as 26%, the stock’s biggest intraday increase in more than four years. His purchase is valued at about $2.89 billion.