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In Elon Musk's Twitter Bid, A Role For CEO Parag Agrawal's Wife

Vineeta Agarwala is a basic accomplice at Andreessen Horowitz

A transfer by Andreessen Horowitz to affix Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter Inc. threatens to create a battle for agency co-founder Marc Andreessen, who sits on the board of social-networking rival Meta Platforms Inc.

Andreessen Horowitz agreed to take a position $400 million within the Twitter takeover deal, a part of $7.1 billion in new financing commitments introduced Thursday. That put one of many greatest early backers of Fb, which modified its title to Meta final yr, in place to turn into a brand new proprietor of Twitter.

Agency co-founder Ben Horowitz mentioned in a tweet that Musk was maybe the one particular person on this planet with the “braveness, brilliance and expertise” to repair Twitter’s issues and “construct the general public sq. that all of us hoped for and deserve.”

Andreessen Horowitz’s involvement has raised questions concerning the VC agency’s hyperlinks to Meta, the place Marc Andreessen has served as a board member since 2008. Although it isn’t unusual for Silicon Valley buyers to have a hand in competing startups, potential conflicts might be extra severe with publicly traded companies, mentioned John Coates, a professor at Harvard Legislation College.

“It is secure to say that Silicon Valley norms about conflicts — the place they’re usually tolerated and even inspired, in a tradition alongside the strains of ‘all of it comes out within the wash’ — are harmful to hold over to the world of public corporations,” he mentioned.

A consultant for Andreessen Horowitz mentioned it deliberate to hunt authorized recommendation to make sure compliance with any guidelines across the sharing of Twitter data with the agency.

Andreessen, 50, has come below scrutiny for earlier attainable conflicts at Meta, equivalent to investing in corporations — together with Oculus VR — that Fb ended up shopping for. At one level he was sued by buyers for advising Meta Chief Govt Officer Mark Zuckerberg on methods to shield his majority voting management even when he bought his shares.

On Twitter, Andreessen has been publicly supportive of Musk, and he is railed towards the content-moderation insurance policies at social media corporations. Musk has mentioned he plans to loosen the principles if he takes cost of Twitter.

Because the investor would not sit on Twitter’s board, his connection to Meta might not be a problem, mentioned David Larcker, a professor at Stanford College. “Though I do know of no method to determine this out from public information, I might guess that many executives and board members commerce within the shares of their rivals,” he mentioned.

Twitter, whereas far smaller than Fb, is taken into account a Meta rival, competing for digital promoting {dollars} and customers’ posts. When Twitter’s board was evaluating whether or not to take Musk’s bid, they regarded on the latest decline in Meta’s valuation as a part of their deliberations, in line with an individual aware of the matter. They finally concluded that the billionaire’s provide was truthful.

Andreessen is not the one accomplice at his enterprise agency whose present relationships could get extra difficult after Musk’s deal is accomplished. Vineeta Agarwala, a basic accomplice at Andreessen Horowitz who invests in biotech and medical corporations, is married to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. It is unclear if Agrawal will stay as CEO below Twitter as soon as Musk takes over, however Musk has beforehand mentioned that he made his bid for Twitter partially as a result of he did not think about the corporate’s present management.

On Thursday, CNBC reported that Musk plans to take over as CEO for a short while after the deal closes.

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