Twitter shareholders vote to boot Silver Lake co-CEO Durban, a long-time Musk backer, from board

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  • A Twitter spokesperson told CNBC that Aegon Durban “has tendered his resignation” from the board, but it is for the board to decide whether to accept it.
  • Durban is a longtime business associate and supporter of Elon Musk, who agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion but has since shown a deep reluctance to go through with the deal.

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Twitter shareholders on Wednesday voted to boot private equity firm Silver Lake’s co-CEO and managing director Egon Durban from its board of directors, as the company navigates through trial talks with buyer Elon Musk.

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The Durban-based firm has worked out deals with Musk in the past. According to a vote at the company’s shareholder meeting, he did not receive enough votes from Twitter investors to be re-elected to the company’s board.

The tally comes after Musk agreed to buy Twitter in a $44 billion deal. News of the acquisition sent shock waves through Twitter’s investor base and its workforce. But with Twitter’s stock falling along with the rest of the market, Musk has since expressed deep reluctance about the deal, claiming that the company has not been truthful or transparent about the prevalence of bots on the network.

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Tesla shares have plummeted since Musk’s bid for Twitter, on concerns that the billionaire CEO, who already has additional workloads as SpaceX CEO, would be even more distracted.

In a statement to CNBC, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed the shareholder vote.

“In accordance with the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, Aegon Durban has submitted its resignation to the Board, with the effectiveness of such resignation being subject to the acceptance of such resignation by the Board,” the spokesperson said in an email. “The Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will immediately consider whether to recommend the Board to accept Mr. Durban’s resignation and provide an update in due course.”

Twitter said it will have more details in an SEC filing it plans to release late Wednesday.

Durban, via Silver Lake, is a longtime business associate and supporter of the Musk companies. A clean energy division of his investment firm invested $100 million in Musk’s solar business, SolarCity, before it was acquired by Tesla, which Musk runs. And when Musk announced in 2018 that he was going to take Tesla private, he said he was working with Silver Lake as a financial advisor. That deal never happened.

Both men currently serve on the board of entertainment conglomerate Endeavor, which is led by Ari Emanuel.

Silver Lake did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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watch: A Timeline of the Elon Musk-Twitter Takeover Saga

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