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Elon Musk texts reveal Jack Dorsey’s long push to get mogul on Twitter board

Newly released texts between Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey show how the Twitter founder had pushed since at least last year for the mogul to join the site’s board. 

Dorsey appeared to say that he had urged Musk to join Twitter’s board when the site was battling with activist investor Elliott Management, which started trying to oust Dorsey as Twitter CEO in 2020. 

“Back when we had the activist come in, I tried my hardest to get you on our board, and our board said no,” Dorsey wrote to Musk on March 26, 2022, according to texts revealed in court filings on Thursday. 

“That’s about the time I decided I needed to work to leave, as hard as it was for me,” added Dorsey, who resigned as Twitter CEO last November.

Explaining the board’s decision to not bring in Musk, Dorsey wrote: “I think the main reason is the board is just super risk averse and saw adding you as more risk, which I thought was completely stupid and backwards.” 

During the two billionaires’ back-and-forth, Dorsey also told Musk that “a new platform is needed” beyond Twitter. 

Jack Dorsey
I tried my hardest to get you on our board, and our board said no,” Jack Dorsey wrote to Elon Musk.
AFP via Getty Images

“It can’t be a company. That’s why I left,” Dorsey said, adding that he believed the solution was an “open source protocol” that’s not reliant on advertising revenue.” 

Musk later responded that he thought “it’s worth both trying to move Twitter in a better direction and doing something that’s decentralized,” according to the court filing. 

Musk would go on to announce a deal to take over Twitter for $44 billion in April, then backed out of the agreement in July

The texts between Musk and Dorsey came to light as part of Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk in Delaware. Twitter is seeking to force Musk to go through with the deal in a trial set to kick off Oct. 17. 

Other texts revealed as part of the legal battle reveal that Matthias Döpfner — the billionaire owner Axel Springer, which Politico and Insider — personally offered to “run” Twitter for Musk. 

“Why don’t you buy Twitter?” Döpfner texted Musk on March 30. “We run it for you. And establish a true platform of free speech. Would be a real contribution to democracy.” 

“Interesting idea,” Musk responded.

“I’m serious. It’s doable. Will be fun,” Döpfner said. 

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