Parag Agrawal wife Vineeta Agrawal is linked to Elon Musk’s Twitter bid

A move by Andreessen Horowitz to join Elon Musk’s Twitter bid threatens to create a conflict of interest. It will also link Vineeta Agrawal, the wife of Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, to Musk’s bid.

A move by Andreessen Horowitz to join Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter Inc. threatening to create a conflict for company co-founder Marc Andreessen, who sits on the board of social networking rival Meta Platforms Inc. Not only that, it will also link Vineeta Agrawal, wife of Parag Agrawal, also CEO of Twitter.

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Andreessen Horowitz agreed to invest $400 million in the Twitter acquisition agreement, part of $7.1 billion in new funding commitments announced Thursday. That put one of Facebook’s biggest early backers, which changed its name to Meta last year, into becoming a new owner of Twitter.

Firm co-founder Ben Horowitz said in a tweet that Musk may have been the only person in the world with the “courage, brilliance and skills” to solve Twitter’s problems and “build the public square we all live in.” had hoped and deserved.”

Andreessen Horowitz’s involvement has raised questions about the VC firm’s ties to Meta, where Marc Andreessen has been a board member since 2008. While it’s not uncommon for Silicon Valley investors to have a hand in competing startups, potential conflicts could be more serious with traded companies, said John Coates, a professor at Harvard Law School.

“It’s safe to say that Silicon Valley norms about conflict — where they’re often tolerated or even encouraged, in an ‘everything comes out in the wash’ culture — are dangerous to carry over to the world of public companies,” he says.

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A representative for Andreessen Horowitz said it plans to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with the rules around sharing Twitter information with the company.

Andreessen, 50, has come under scrutiny for past potential conflicts at Meta, such as investments in companies — including Oculus VR — that Facebook eventually bought. At one point, he was sued by investors for advising Meta Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on how to protect his majority voting rights, even if he sold his shares.

On Twitter, Andreessen publicly supported Musk, and he denounced the content moderation policies at social media companies. Musk has said he plans to relax the rules if he takes charge of Twitter.

Since the investor isn’t on Twitter’s board, his connection to Meta might not be an issue, said David Larcker, a professor at Stanford University. “While I don’t know of a way to find out from public data, I suspect many executives and board members are trading their competitors’ stocks,” he said.

Twitter, while much smaller than Facebook, is considered a Meta rival, competing for sirbptial advertising dollars and user posts. When the Twitter board was evaluating whether to accept Musk’s offer, they looked at the recent drop in Meta’s valuation as part of their deliberations, according to a person familiar with the matter. They eventually concluded that the billionaire’s offer was reasonable.

Andreessen isn’t the only partner at his venture firm whose existing relationships could become more complicated after Musk’s deal closes. Vineeta Agrawal, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz who invests in biotech and medical companies, is married to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. It’s unclear whether Agrawal will remain under Twitter as CEO once Musk takes over, but Musk has previously said he made his offer on Twitter in part because he lacked confidence in the company’s current leadership.

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

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