One Wild Month for Elon Musk, Twitter and Tesla

Share purchases, board seats, poison pills…oh my!   If the saga of Elon Musk’s quest for Twitter was a rollercoaster, it would rank among Six Flags’ finest.   In less than 30 days’ time, Musk went from buying a 9.2% share of the company to joining the board of Twitter to not joining the board of Twitter to surviving the Twitter board’s “poison pill defense” to purchasing the social media giant outright for $44 billion. In the wake of the deal’s consummation, we spoke to Patrick McGurn, a corporate governance and ESG expert who served as special counsel and managing director of Institutional Shareholder Services for 25 years, about the impact Musk’s latest acquisition could have on Tesla and its board.    Directors & Boards: How does Tesla’s board keep Elon Musk focused on the company's business once he acquires Twitter?   Patrick McGurn: Breathless commentators have lamented Elon Musk’s planned buyout of Twitter as the proverbial straw that will break the Tesla Technoking’s back with respect to his frenetic workload. In reality, Musk’s dance card reached the tipping point years ago. Musk has served as Tesla’s CEO since 2008 and as a board member since 2004. During that period, he also served as CEO, CTO and chair at SpaceX (since May 2002), and he founded tunnel-driller The Boring Company and brain-machine interface developer Neuralink. While Musk’s sleep reportedly suffered from this hectic schedule, these entities appear to have thrived over this period des...

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