Harvard Expert Says Twitter Deal Could Be Bad For Elon Musk: Here's Why

Zinger Key Points
  • "Twitter is a distraction that could keep Musk from what's important and it could do society more harm than good," says Bill George. 
  • "Musk's reported vision for Twitter as a free-speech platform could also harm the public," he adds. 
Harvard Expert Says Twitter Deal Could Be Bad For Elon Musk: Here's Why

Elon Musk is under investigation by federal authorities over his conduct during his $44 billion takeover deal for Twitter Inc TWTR

What Happened: Last week Twitter said in a court filing that Musk's attorneys claimed "investigative privilege" while refusing to hand over material sought by the social media company. 

Twitter sued Musk in July after he walked out of a deal to take the company private at $54.20 per share.

Is the Twitter deal going to be good or bad for Musk? Harvard University expert Bill George shared his views on this. 

George said this Twitter deal would be bad for Musk and the general public if he succeeds in buying it. 

It could damage Musk's other companies, divert him from his research and development efforts, and negatively impact the country's public discourse. 

"Twitter is a distraction that could keep Musk from what's important and it could do society more harm than good," said George. 

In George's latest book, "True North: Leading Authentically in Today's Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition," he said bosses who lose sight of their beliefs and values are often on track to fail in some way and Musk is at risk of falling into that category.

Also Read: Here's The 'Terrible Habit' Elon Musk Wants To Cut From His Morning Routine

George said Musk's diversion from his core strength, which lies in "being the greatest inventor of our era," would take a toll on his firms such as Tesla and SpaceX. 

"It's a sign he needs to focus more on Tesla. Its market cap is dependent on the company's rapid growth and his ability to invent," George added.

Tesla shares dropped to $223.99 on Friday, marking its worst week since March 2020. Similarly, its market cap is $674.11 billion as of Wednesday, down from $1.14 trillion at the beginning of April.

George noted Musk's inventions "genuinely help society and the world at large," and Twitter could get in the way of that.

"Musk's reported vision for Twitter as a free-speech platform could also harm the public," he added. 

George said that permitting free speech on Twitter without any "reasonable restraint" is a mistake, and disparaging rhetoric could harm the users the platform currently aims to protect.  

Earlier this month, a few text messages between Musk and his contacts were made public as part of the ongoing legal proceedings in the Twitter deal lawsuit. 

Musk's ex-wife Talulah Riley was among his contacts who exchanged texts with the billionaire while preparing for the Twitter takeover.

In a recent Benzinga poll on Twitter, when respondents were asked, "Is Elon Musk a winner or loser in the Twitter deal," over 41% of respondents voted Musk would turn out to be a loser. In comparison, 37% believed the world's richest person would emerge as a winner from the deal. 

More than 21% of respondents were indifferent to the affair. The results point to the continued skepticism of the deal.

Photo: Created with an image from TED Conference on Flickr

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