The announcement reverses a decision last week, when Twitter said Mr. Musk would become a board member after amassing a 9.2 percent stake in the company.
Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man and the biggest shareholder of Twitter, will no longer join the social media service’s board of directors, the company said late Sunday.
The move capped a whirlwind week at Twitter that had been set off by Mr. Musk, 50. On Tuesday, Twitter announced that the billionaire would be appointed to its 11-person board for a term that expires in 2024. The invitation to join the board followed Mr. Musk’s accumulating a 9.2 percent stake in the company, making him its largest shareholder.
But Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief executive, tweeted late Sunday that the situation had changed. On Saturday morning, Mr. Musk — who is a heavy Twitter user with more than 81 million followers — told the company he would no longer become a board member, Mr. Agrawal said.
“We have and will always value input from our shareholders, whether they are on our board or not” Mr. Agrawal said in his tweet about the news. “Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.”
No reason was given for the reversal. But Mr. Musk had been tweeting erratically throughout the weekend, polling his followers with barbed questions about the future of the social media company.
In another, he suggested turning Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter because “no one shows up anyway.” He also rattled off a stream of critiques of the company’s products, at one point suggesting that Twitter remove ads from the service entirely. (Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from ads.)
Under corporate governance principles, board members are required to act in the best fiduciary interest of a company and its shareholders, which Mr. Agrawal pointed out in his tweet on Sunday evening. He also said that Twitter’s board had been “clear about the risks” of Mr. Musk’s deciding to join as a director.
By not joining Twitter’s board, Mr. Musk will also no longer be bound by a previous agreement he had signed with the company. Under a “standstill” agreement last week, he had pledged not to purchase more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s stock and not to take over the company. That suggests Mr. Musk could now keep adding to his stake in the company.
A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment beyond Mr. Agrawal’s post. In a tweet on Sunday night, Mr. Musk did not directly address the situation with Twitter’s board but posted an emoji of a hand over a face.
Mr. Musk's purchases of Twitter stock also came at a delicate time for the company. Twitter has been going through a transition since Jack Dorsey, a company founder, stepped down as chief executive last year. Mr. Agrawal, the chief technology officer, was appointed in his place.