Elon Musk began purchasing shares in Twitter in January 2022 after being unable to persuade then-Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to take down an account tracking his private jet, according to a new book called “Battle for the Bird” by Kurt Wagner. Wagner revealed that Musk started buying shares in Twitter shortly after Agrawal declined his request, eventually becoming the company’s largest shareholder with a 9.2% stake by April.
In a post on X, Wagner stated that Musk first expressed his displeasure with the @ElonJet Twitter account in January 2022, before deciding to buy Twitter shares later that month. It wasn’t until October that Musk’s $44 billion offer to purchase Twitter was completed, following a series of tumultuous events surrounding the acquisition.
Although Musk initially pledged not to remove the @ElonJet account due to his belief in free speech, the account was ultimately banned a month later. Despite the ban, the account operator, college student Jack Sweeney, continued to track and post about Musk’s jet movements on Meta’s Threads app using the handle @ElonMusksJet, which now boasts over 167,000 followers. Sweeney also created the @ElonJetNextDay account.
“Battle for the Bird” by Kurt Wagner was released on February 20, but neither Musk nor Agrawal responded to Business Insider’s requests for comments outside their regular hours.