Twitter Will Keep A Elon Musk Ally On Its Board—Even Though Shareholders Rejected Him

Twitter will let Egon Durban, the co-CEO of Silver Lake, keep his board seat even though shareholders turned down his reelection at the company’s annual meeting. His time on the board pre-dates Elon Musk’s arrival, dating back to an earlier entanglement with another unsolicited investor. But, in the past, Durban has been a close Musk confidant, and the company’s decision to keep him is a reminder of the complex machinations—and personalities—involved in the highly public fights over Twitter’s future during the last several years.

“The Board considers Mr. Durban a highly effective member and believes that he brings to the Board an unparalleled operational knowledge of the industry, a unique perspective, and an invaluable skill set and experience with mergers and acquisitions,” Twitter says in a new SEC filing. Durban’s Silver Lake is a massive tech-focused private equity firm with nearly $90 billion in assets under management. It has done things like help fund Michael Dell’s 2013 leveraged buyout of his PC company—as well as counsel Musk around his plans to privatize Tesla in 2018, the concreteness of which remains an unanswered question. (Musk, of course, now says he may possibly buy Twitter, possibly for $44 billion.)

Here’s Twitter continuing to give Durban high marks on his report card: “The Board noted that Mr. Durban has strengthened its ability to oversee the Company’s long-term value creation strategy and effectively govern its implementation. Further, Mr. Durban is consistently well-prepared, engaged and a meaningful contributor to Board meetings and discussions.”

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