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Elon Musk and Twitter: Right Hand Needed

A comment on “Will Elon Musk Take Over Twitter?” By Daniel Friedman at Quillette.com (4/20/2022):

https://quillette.com/2022/04/20/musks-twitter-takeover/

  • Financially, Musk can pull it off, but he won’t succeed purely on his own adrenaline and good intentions.
  • He needs to recruit a competent all-around executive assistant (EA) who can serve as his right hand. The EA would basically share his worldview and strategic mindset but be practical, grounded and mostly invisible to the world.
  • The EA would support him and a competent leadership team to stabilize the acquisition and make it work day to day.
  • Righting the ship can be done, but it will be a lot more work and require much more care and engagement activity if it is to succeed.

Detail – Some Key Points From Article:

  1. SEC-Justice Department joint investigation is based in Musk’s own choices and actions, not politics.

“Musk was required to make a disclosure within 10 days of acquiring five percent of the company. Musk reached a five percent stake on March 14th, so he should have made his disclosure by March 24th, but he didn’t disclose until April 4th, and he continued buying the stock between March 24th and April 4th. Musk’s April 4th disclosure of his stake spiked the share price to above $US50, so Musk may have saved as much as $US150 million by keeping his activities secret for an additional 10 days after the rules required him to disclose them.”

  1. The opinion that Musk would be bored/frustrated by the day-to-day.

“Yishan Wong, who worked with Musk at PayPal and was CEO of Reddit from 2012–2014 predicted, however, that running a social media platform might be less fun than Musk anticipates—in fact, he thinks Musk is in for ‘a world of pain’ if he acquires Twitter. Wong says that the free speech ethos of early Internet founders like Musk is out of step with the realities of social media, and the moderation practices Musk says he will abolish are actually essential.”

  1. Musk and Jack Dorsey are “friendly” and Dorsey may actually support Musk’s takeover attempt despite supposedly voting with the rest of the Board for the “poison pill.”

“Dorsey has not publicly commented on Musk’s takeover attempt, but criticizing the board, tweeting about wanting to make dramatic changes to Twitter features, and taking potshots at the media are all things that can be interpreted as suggesting that Dorsey is aligned with Musk.”

  1. Musk may be planning to dump the stock if they reject his tender offer (forthcoming ~April 30 per Reuters https://www.reuters.com/technology/elon-musk-invest-up-15-bln-his-own-money-buy-twitter-nypost-2022-04-19/) He also will likely drive down shareholder confidence by Tweeting against management.

“Musk also warns that, if his offer is rejected, he will ‘need to reconsider [his] position as a shareholder.’ The script explicitly notes that ‘this is not a threat,’ but, as anyone who has ever seen a gangster movie knows, anytime someone says something is not a threat, it’s always a threat.”


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

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