‘It’s meaningless’ — large Tesla shareholder Ron Baron reacts to Elon Musk joining Twitter’s board
“I think it’s meaningless,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday. “It’s a tiny investment. $3 billion for a man who is worth $300 billion. He has Tesla which is worth a trillion (and) on the way to being worth $3 or $4 trillion.”
Baron, who has been a Tesla investor since 2014, added: “There’s no way this could be anything meaningful to him.”
Baron said his firm decided not to invest in Jack Dorsey’s social media company when it found out Musk was backing the company and taking a seat on the board. Indeed, most investors tend to look at the company as well as the individuals that are backing it before they buy shares.
While Twitter’s stock surged 27% after Musk’s investment was disclosed on Monday, the company’s share price hasn’t performed particularly well over the last few years compared to other U.S. tech giants like Apple and Microsoft.
Musk’s purchase comes less than two weeks after he criticized the company, polling people on Twitter about whether it adheres to free speech principles. “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk tweeted. “What should be done?”
Late last month, Musk also said he was considering building a new social media platform.
Musk, who is now Twitter’s largest shareholder, isn’t the only billionaire to snap up a hefty stake in a large media company.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos came under scrutiny after he bought The Washington Post newspaper for $250 million in 2013.
After learning that Washington Post reporters were looking into his past, former president Donald Trump railed against Amazon chief Jeff Bezos in a tweetstorm. Amazon shares fell as much as 6.5 percent since Trump’s victory, while the broader markets rallied to record highs.
Asked if Musk’s companies could now face similar scrutiny, Baron said: “When you’re focusing on something that’s meaningless and will never have any impact on anything, it just takes away from looking at the big picture.”
He added: “These things, we don’t care about. It’s not relevant to me. People can pick up something. A short seller or long guy or a hedge fund is going to pick up something that you can trade on. It’s not relevant. I don’t care.”