In the latest twist on the Musk Twitter saga, private texts between Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey about Twitter reveal that the Tesla billionaire became financially involved in the company, court records show.
Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder and former CEO, first texted Musk on March 26, according to a text log filed as part of Twitter’s ongoing lawsuit against Musk.
In his initial text to Musk about Twitter, Dorsey said “A new platform is needed. It can’t be a company. That’s why I left.”
Musk quickly responded, according to the text log, asking “What should it look like?” Dorsey proceeded to explain what he has said publicly, that Twitter should become an “open-sourced protocol” that looks “a bit like what Signal has done,” referencing the encrypted messaging app. Dorsey also said that Twitter “cant have an advertising model.” Advertising is currently the central business model of social media companies.
Musk told Dorsey, “I’d like to help if I’m able.” Dorsey proceeded to tell Musk that he’d actually pushed for his addition to Twitter’s board a year earlier, but Twitter’s board “said no.” He added the Twitter board saw Musk “as more risk, “Which i thought was completely stupid and backwards.”
“That’s about the time I decided I needed to work to leave, as hard as it was for me,” Dorsey continued. This was also the time activist investor Elliot Management got involved in Twitter, demanding a number of changes to the company’s business toward growth and profitability.
While Dorsey’s contact with Musk on March 26 was referenced in a later filing with the SEC about Musk’s eventual offer to acquire Twitter for $44 billion, the detail of the exchanges was not divulged. Subsequent texts at later dates were also not mentioned.
When Musk eventually made a deal on April 5 with Twitter to join its board, the day after his more than 9% stake in the company became public, Musk texted Dorsey to set up a time to “speak confidentially.”
A couple of hours later, the two texted referencing the call. Dorsey told Musk that he “couldn’t be happier you’re doing this.”
“I’ve wanted it for a long time,” Dorsey added. “Got very emotional when I learned it was finally possible.”
When Musk asked Dorsey to advise him if ever he was doing or not doing “something dumb,” Dorsey replied: “I trust you but def will do.”
Just a few days later, on April 9, Musk pointed to conversations with Dorsey in explaining his decision to take the company private in order to fix it.
“This is hard to do as a public company, as purging fake users will make the numbers look terrible, so restructuring should be done as a private company,” Musk wrote in a text to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor. “This is Jack’s opinion too.”
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