Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey served the company on a platter to Elon Musk by “backstabbing” the company’s board of directors, one of the social-media giant’s co-founders alleged.
Jason Goldman, a former member of the board who was part of Twitter’s founding team more than a decade ago, told Bloomberg News that he believes Dorsey encouraged Musk to buy the company outright after Musk had initially been in talks to merely join the board.
Goldman, who was Twitter’s vice president of product, told Bloomberg that the company’s chairman, Bret Taylor, and CEO Parag Agrawal, struck a deal with Musk to bring him on as a director in exchange for his agreeing not to buy up more shares.
An SEC filing submitted days later revealed that Musk owned a 9.2% stake in Twitter — which at the time was equivalent to 73.4 million shares, the most of any shareholder.
Musk had asked Twitter’s board to convene a meeting, during which Dorsey “shared his personal view that Twitter would be able to better focus on execution as a private company,” according to an SEC filing.
Goldman said that Dorsey’s comments suggest that he was the one who urged Musk to take over the company entirely and take it private.
“That to me is just a clear backstabbing of the board by the founder when they had a deal in hand to come to a standstill,” Goldman said.
Goldman told Bloomberg that Twitter shareholders want Musk to adhere to the terms of the $54.20-a-share tender offer. Musk tweeted that the deal was “on hold” due to purported concerns about the prevalence of “spam” and “bot” accounts.
Twitter has stated its intention to enforce the agreement despite Musk’s misgivings. Analysts believe that Musk is simply looking for a way to renegotiate the purchase price, particularly after Twitter stock plummeted in recent weeks.
“The most important answer [the company] can assert is that there’s no such thing as the deal being on hold,” Goldman said.
Goldman made the comments a day before Twitter, whose board accepted the Tesla CEO’s buyout offer at $54.20 a share, held its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
A short time later, Musk backed out of the agreement and announced that he was mounting a $44 billion hostile takeover.
Dorsey has endorsed Musk’s acquisition, saying that he agrees with the Tesla boss’s vision of enabling greater freedom of expression on the site.