The largest shareholder of Twitter, Elon Musk, recently questioned whether the company’s San Francisco headquarters should be turned into a homeless shelter.

Elon Musk 2014 Photo Credit: Tesla Owners Club Belgium, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Musk posted a poll in a now-deleted tweet asking, “Convert Twitter SF HQ to homeless shelter since no one shows up anyway?” 

Source: Elon Musk Twitter

The idea would be backed by fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos who suggested converting a portion of the headquarters to a homeless shelter. He also shared an article from Geek Wire showing photos of Amazon’s 8-floor homeless shelter that is attached to its Seattle HQ.

Bezos tweeted, “Or do portion. Worked out great and makes it easy for employees who want to volunteer.”

Source: Jeff Bezos Twitter

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Musk simply responded, “Great idea.”

Source: Elon Musk Twitter

Musk’s poll came when he was not only the largest shareholder of Twitter, but it also appeared that he was a member of Twitter’s Board of Directors. Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Musk had joined Twitter’s Board of Directors. on April 5th.

Agrawal tweeted, “I’m excited to share that we’re appointing Elon Musk to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board.”

Source: Parag Agrawal Twitter

In a subsequent tweet, Agrawal wrote, “He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on Twitter, and in the boardrooms, to make us stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon!”

Source: Parag Agrawal Twitter

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Musk appeared to confirm the appointment responding, “Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!”

Source: Elon Musk Twitter

However, Agrawal would reveal that Musk actually decided not to join the Board of Directors on April 10th. He wrote on Twitter, “Elon has decided not to join our board. I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here.”

Interestingly, Agrawal explains in the note that Musk joining the board had contingencies that he did not previously reveal when he clearly and definitively announced that Musk was part of the board.

Source: Google Cloud YouTube

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The note reads, “Elon Musk has decided not to join our board. Here’s what I can share about what happened. The Board and I had many discussions about Elon joining the board, and with Elon directly. We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks. We also believed having Elon as a fiduciary of the company where he, like all board members, has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward. The board offered him a seat.”

It continued, “We announced on Tuesday that Elon would be appointed to the Board contingent on a background check and formal acceptance. Elon’s appointment to the board was to become officially effective 4/9, but Elon shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board.”

Source: Google Cloud YouTube

“I believe this is for the best,” Agrawal stated, “We have and will always value input from our shareholders whether they are on our Board or not. Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.”

“There will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged. The decisions we make and how we execute is in our hands, no one else’s. Let’s tune out the noise, and stay focused on the work and what’ were building,” he concluded.

Source: Parag Agrawal Twitter

What do you make of Musk’s idea to turn Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco into a homeless shelter? What do you make Agrawal’s note to Twitter employees?

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