- Rumman Chowdhury said Elon Musk has an “immediate chilling effect.”
- Chowdhury said she saw “Musk’s minions” silence Twitter’s culture of “constructive criticism.”
- Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced on Sunday that Musk had decided to forego the role on the board.
One Twitter manager was less than enthused at the idea of Elon Musk joining the company’s board.
Rumman Chowdhury, the director of ML Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability at Twitter per LinkedIn, said in a series of tweets that she was grateful the world’s richest man is no longer joining the social media company’s board of directors.
“This is going to sound funny but Musk’s immediate chilling effect was something that bothered me significantly,” Chowdhury said on Twitter. “Twitter has a beautiful culture of hilarious constructive criticism, and I saw that go silent because of his minions attacking employees.”
Musk is known for his active role on Twitter, which often includes jokes and jabs at other companies and public figures. With over 81 million followers, the Tesla CEO also has one of the site’s most popular accounts.
“That is certainly not the only thing – my rule #1 is ‘do not feed the trolls’ – people like him thrive on attention, including negative attention,” Chowdhury wrote on Twitter. “I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction.”
—Rumman Chowdhury (@ruchowdh) April 11, 2022
Spokespeople for Twitter and Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. Chowdhury also did not respond to a request for additional comment.
On Sunday night, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Musk had made a U-turn on his decision the same morning he was expected to officially join the board.
Last week, it was revealed Musk had become Twitter’s largest shareholder and had been invited to join the board of directors. In his tweet, Agrawal said the board had held “many discussion about Elon joining the board,” and had decided the role would would require Musk “to act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders,” was “the best path forward.”
—Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 11, 2022
Musk did not disclose why he had decided to reject the offer. Though, the Tesla CEO tweeted about the social media company over the weekend in a series of tweets that have since been deleted that suggested Twitter should change its name, turn its headquarters into a homeless shelter, and remove ads. Musk even asked his followers, “Is Twitter dying?”
Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton reported Musk’s decision could leave the door open for the billionaire to buy the company as the Tesla CEO would no longer be bound by an agreement he signed to join the board that dictated he could not buy more than 14.9% of Twitter’s stock.
When news first spread of Musk’s stock in the company and his initial decision to join the board, Twitter’s stock soared. People who had worked with Musk also speculated how his role at the social media company could change its trajectory.
Since it was announced Musk will no longer be joining Twitter’s board, the company’s stock initially slumped by more than 8% but has remained higher than before Musk’s stake was first revealed.
Agrawal said he anticipates “there will be distractions ahead.”
“Let’s tune out the noise, and stay focused on the work and what we’re building,” he told Twitter employees in the company email he posted on Twitter.