What just happened? With half of Twitter's staff having been fired from or departed the company since Elon Musk's arrival, it seems the next position it might be looking to fill is CEO. Musk tweeted a poll earlier today asking whether he should step down as boss. Over 17.5 million people have voted so far, and 'Yes' is winning 57.5% of the vote.
Twitter has been chaotic since Musk took over just over 50 days ago: firing executives and half the staff, the verified account/Twitter Blue shambles, lawsuits, an EU warning about helping Vladimir Putin, advertisers leaving, fighting with Apple, and banning accounts, including those of journalists.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
Around 14 hours ago, Musk tweeted another poll that would influence decisions at one of his companies; he sold a tenth of his Tesla shares based on the outcome of a 2021 poll and reinstated Twitter accounts, including Donald Trump's, last month after more people voted Yes. "Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll," Musk tweeted.
As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
Replying to later tweets, Musk said, "No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor." He also reiterated the threat of bankruptcy that was brought up in November "And it [Twitter] has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May."
As was the case when Musk sold his Tesla shares, there are claims the decision to vacate the CEO position was made before the poll was posted. "I imagine he's [Musk] getting pressure from investors to step down and is using this poll to make it look like he's following the will of the people instead of the will of those paying his bills," a former Twitter member of staff told the BBC.
Should I run Twitter ?— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) December 19, 2022
Whoever takes over from Musk (Snoop Dogg?) as CEO will have a tough job on their hands, especially as the world's second-richest person will still be the platform's owner, so the new boss will likely have to follow Musk's policies and strategy for Twitter. Whether replacing Musk as CEO will appease nervous advertisers is unclear.
Musk stepping back from his Twitter duties will be welcome news for Tesla shareholders. The EV's stock price has more than halved this year as investors worry about Twitter's problems being a major distraction for Musk. He's also sold $40 billion worth of Tesla stock over the last 12 months to help pay Twitter's bills. Tesla's shares were up almost 5% in pre-market trading earlier today.