Elon Musk is widely known as the innovation engine of the 21st century – from pioneering electric cars and reusable rockets, to linking brains and computers, there is seemingly nothing the entrepreneur can’t do. One of Musk’s recent achievements is to become the largest shareholder in Twitter, the hugely popular social network. But how much of the company does he own? Does Elon Musk own 100 percent of Twitter?
The short answer is no. Twitter is a public company and its actions are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Therefore, Musk cannot own 100 percent of it. Public companies typically have hundreds of owners when traded on the stock exchange, meaning Musk isn’t its sole owner. But how much of Twitter does the entrepreneur have?
Who Owns Twitter?
Presently, Elon Musk is the largest shareholder of Twitter with an 8.5 percent stake in the company. This makes him the largest individual holder of the company’s stock. The remaining shares are owned by public investors, institutional investors, and employees.
In January 2019, Musk purchased an additional 20 million of Twitter shares for $1.4billion, pushing his stake up to more than 10 percent. However, due to the SEC’s regulations on owning a public company, which typically cap ownership stakes at 10 percent, Musk’s ownership was reduced to 8.5 percent.
Despite not owning Twitter outright, Musk wields considerable influence over the company through his shares in the company. As of June 2019, Musk’s stake in the company is estimated to be worth somewhere between $10-11 billion. This puts him among the top shareholders in the company, despite not technically owning it.
Elon Musk and the Controversy of Twitter
It’s well-known that Elon Musk has quite a presence on Twitter, often making headlines in mainstream news and media. While his tweets are often entertaining and informative, he has also become the poster-boy of Twitter-related controversies, as his tweets have managed to stir up frenzied debates.
Musk isn’t free from controversy himself, as his tweets have drawn the ire of regulatory agencies and institutional investors numerous times. The SEC fined Tesla, the electric car company he runs, and its shareholder in 2018 over some of his tweets, due to perceived stock manipulation. Though Musk was initially endorsed by Twitter, such controversies have stained his reputation, posing a risk to the company.
Musk’s Influence on Twitter’s Future
Despite not owning Twitter completely, Elon Musk wields considerable influence over the company. As its largest individual shareholder, Musk’s conduct and decisions can have a major sway on the direction of the company. Some have even suggested that the business mogul’s 8.5 percent stake in Twitter is a major factor in its success.
Twitter, perhaps more than any other company, is all about change and disruption. The platform has been subject to multiple changes, as it continues its efforts to remain relevant in the ever-evolving world of social media. As one of its largest shareholders and most influential figures, Elon Musk’s endorsement and support of these changes is essential for Twitter to remain successful.
Reasons Behind the Controversies
Theories abound as to why Musk’s tweets are often viewed as controversial. Some attribute it to his ambition and his tendency to push boundaries, often testing the laws and regulations he is supposed to abide by. Others see it as an effort to distance himself from traditional forms of communication, using Twitter as a tool to take risks and make bold statements that he would otherwise be unable to.
Musk may also be playing off of the popularity that Twitter has gained due to his presence, using the platform to drive new innovation and create buzz about topics that he finds interesting and relevant. Ultimately, the motivation is hard to pinpoint, but it is likely an amalgam of all these factors.
What it Means for the Future of Twitter
Twitter is a multi-billion dollar company, and Elon Musk owns a large portion of its stock. His presence as its largest individual shareholder provides valuable insight into the platform’s future plans and strategy. Musk will likely remain a major figure in the social network’s developments, as his ideas and enthusiasm are essential for Twitter’s growth.
At the same time, controversy has become increasingly synonymous with Musk’s presence on the platform, although this may not necessarily be a bad thing. In a way, it may be helping to drive further innovation and disruption, though it may be putting Twitter’s future in jeopardy at the same time. Only time will tell if Musk’s influence will be a blessing or a curse for the company.
Twitter Stock Performance
Twitter’s stock performance has been largely positive since Elon Musk acquired his stake in the company. The company’s stock has increased from around $32 per share (at the time of Musk’s purchase) to around $45 per share, a 40 percent increase in just over a year.
This could be regarded as a testament to Musk’s influence on the company, as his presence and decisions have had a positive impact on its share prices. Nonetheless, the performance of Twitter’s stock will largely depend on its ability to remain competitive in the social media world, as well as its ability to continually innovate and attract users to the platform.