Biotech entrepreneur: Silicon Valley ‘quietly rooting’ for Elon Musk but too afraid to say it publicly

Following news that Elon Musk has declined an offer to join Twitter’s board of directors, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy said Musk may be better able to “shake things up” as a shareholder, and tech execs in Silicon Valley are “quietly rooting” for him to do just that.

“I think he’s going to be more effective at driving change off the board than on the board,” Ramaswamy told “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt, Monday.

Ramaswamy noted the many constraints Musk would be under had he taken a seat on the social media platform’s board.

“I was a little disappointed when I saw them agree to give him one board seat because I know how the managerial class plays this game,” Ramaswamy said. “He’s going to be one of 12 on the board. Subject to constraints about what he can and can’t say, what he can and can’t do. How much more he can and cannot buy — up to 14 percent per the standstill agreement.”

“I think he’s going to be much more effective now as the top shareholder by far,” Ramaswamy continued. “Driving change as a voice from the outside and potentially unconstrained with respect to how much he can actually buy.”

“So I think this is actually a positive development,” Ramaswamy said optimistically.

Ramaswamy believes Musk may be able to break through Silicon Valley’s “culture of fear.”

“And another thing I want to say, Ainsley, is over the last week, over the last few days, I’ve actually had an opportunity on unrelated matters to talk to some of the top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley,” he said. “The topic of Elon Musk comes up.”

“He has a lot of people quietly rooting for him to drive change here and shake things up,” Ramaswamy stated. “None of them will actually say it publicly, and that’s exactly why he needs to be doing it. We have this culture of fear in the valley, in corporate America, and using shareholder power to be able to drive that change from the top, I think, is actually one of the most promising ways to do it, so I’m really rooting for success here.”

As reported in BizPac Review, the surprising announcement from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal that Musk “has decided not to join” the board came in a Sunday tweet.

“The Board and I had many discussions about Elon joining the board, and with Elon directly,” Agrawal said in a memo to his employees and shared on the platform he runs. “We were excited to collaborate and clear about the risks. We also believed that having Elon as a fiduciary of the company where he, like all board members, he has to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders, was the best path forward.”

And while some believe it was the 14.9 percent investment cap on Twitter stock ownership that led to Musk declining the board seat, others believe it was the “has to act in the best interests” of the company and its shareholders that may have put him off.

If Musk gobbled up Twitter stock for the purposes of ending the company’s routine assaults on the First Amendment rights of its users, he would have to censor himself to do it from a seat on the board, and many suspect that is not something the billionaire was willing to do.

 

“I believe this is for the best,” Agrawal stated in his memo.

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

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