Who Owned Twitter Before Elon Musk?

man holding twitter emblem

Elon Musk’s successful bid to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share on Monday puts the Tesla founder firmly in control of the social media platform, which represents a major change in who calls the shots. He will become the first private owner of the company in a long time.

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Because Twitter is a publicly traded company — until Musk officially takes it private — it’s not currently “owned” by any single person or entity. The largest shareholder is Vanguard Group, which recently upped its stake in the social media platform to push Musk out of the top spot, the Wall Street Journal reported.

On April 8, Vanguard disclosed that it owns 82.4 million shares of Twitter, or 10.3% of the company. Before that, Musk had been the top shareholder with a 9.1% stake after increasing his position earlier in the month.

About 80% of Twitter shares are owned by institutions such as private companies and investment funds, the U.S. Sun reported. In addition to Vanguard, other top institutional investors include Morgan Stanley Investment Management and BlackRock Fund Advisors.

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Among individual investors, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey is among the top shareholders, with just more than 18 million shares and a 2.4% stake, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Dorsey currently serves as CEO of Block (formerly Square), a digital payment system. Twitter’s current CEO is Parag Agrawal.

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Before Twitter went public in 2013, its three largest stakeholders were Dorsey, fellow co-founder Evan Williams, and Peter Fenton, an early investor in the company.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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