Elon Musk Leaps to Defense of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as Elliott Management Pushes for Ouster

Elliott Management recently took a 4% stake in Twitter in a bid to replace Dorsey as CEO.
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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk is jumping into the fray over an activist investor's push for changes at Twitter.

Musk took to Twitter to lend his support for Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO. Dorsey is currently in the crosshairs of activist investor Elliott Management, who would like to see Dorsey replaced among other changes at the tech firm. Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report shares were down 1% on Tuesday to $35.44.

Paul Singer, founder of Elliott Management, recently built a more than 4% stake in Twitter with the goal of pushing for changes at the company. He's reportedly nominated four new board members and wants to show Dorsey the door. Dorsey is one of Twitter's co-founders, has been Twitter CEO since 2015, and is also CEO of Square  (SQ) - Get Report. Similarly, Musk is the CEO of both Tesla and space exploration company SpaceX.

Singer is unhappy with Dorsey's leadership -- the CEO said recently he wants to spend several months per year in Africa -- as well as product mishaps at Twitter. Twitter has also long had an issue with executive turnover and an overall slow pace of development. 

Twitter's stock has been roughly flat since Dorsey replaced Dick Costolo as Twitter chief in June 2015, while the rest of the Nasdaq index has gained around 70%.

As explained in a recent column by RealMoney's Eric Jhonsa, Singer -- as well as many other investors at large -- likely understand the extent to which Twitter's problems can be blamed on Dorsey. 

As examples, it took years for Dorsey to extend Twitter's character limit beyond 140 characters. The user experience lags well behind that other other social platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, when it comes to finding and sharing content. Dorsey refuses to sign off on an edit capability for posts, which many users have long called for. And Twitter has also been blamed for fostering a toxic environment where bullying and abuse are commonplace.

As for Musk, he appears to like Twitter just the way it is. The Tesla CEO frequently takes to his 31 million-follower Twitter account to share everything from memes to product announcements. 

Musk's Twitter has also gotten him in trouble on at least a couple of occasions. 

In one case, Musk's infamous "funding secured" tweet, in which he falsely claimed he had secured funding to take Tesla private, led to a lawsuit and eventual deal with the SEC that required him to step down as chairman and pay millions in fines. In another, Musk called a cave diver a "pedo guy," leading to a defamation charge. Musk won the latter case.