Elon Musk went quiet for a few hours after the results came in from his poll where he asked the crowd for help on his decision-making, this time on the topic of if he should stay at the helm of Twitter. More than 17,5 million Twitter users participated in the 12-hour poll, which was issued on Sunday evening. In it, Musk asked the public’s opinion on if he should step down as CEO of Twitter and promised to “abide by the results”. Well unsurprisingly, 57,5% of the users who voted (more than 10 million), supported Musk stepping down as the head of Twitter, with just 42.5% (7.4 million) saying he should maintain the course.
The latest development caps off two turbulent months for Elon Musk as the head of Twitter. He immersed himself in controversy at every step, before finishing off the week by sharing a handful of cryptic tweets about the company’s doomed future without him and questioning the alleged lack of media coverage on U.S.-Mexico border crossings.
Musk published the poll shortly after being spotted at the World Cup final, watching the match between France and Argentina in the company of Jared Kushner. Musk detailed the lack of suitable candidates to take over the reins at Twitter, by replying to some comments in his "be carefull what you wish for" tweet.
No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 19, 2022
Which should come as a surprise to no one, considering he laid off Twitter’s incumbent CEO Parag Agrawal, and more than half of Twitter’s employees immediately after consolidating power on October 27. He continued by reinstating a large number of previously banned figures, most of which propagated far-right politics. Such was the case with the poll that brought Donald Trump back on the platform, in an attempt to score some favorable views.
But no amount of backtracking can reverse the reputational damage he has garnered while being head of Twitter.
Just a week ago, he was once again in the spotlight, after being booed by an audience in the thousands after coming on stage at comedian Dave Chappelle's show in San Francisco. And this was before his suspension of several notable journalists on the platform, claiming they were doxxing him by revealing his real-time location. Musk also ran two polls on this topic, and reversed his actions. But not before prohibiting linking to competitor platforms in what he described as “relentless advertising of competitors for free.” Before backtracking on that statement as well, in less than an hour.
Elon abandoned Tesla and Tesla has no working CEO
Tesla needs and deserves to have working full time CEO
What Tesla BOD should do, do nothing? Elon will find his own successor under BOD independent supervision https://t.co/AJSvij9ncP
— KoGuan Leo (@KoguanLeo) December 14, 2022
Musk’s run of emotional tweeting and stirring up drama hasn’t come without its fair share of consequences. Apart from the growing pains and pressure he has inflicted on himself, his other ventures that made him the richest man in the world are also struggling.
The poll came fresh off Tesla’s worst week in two years after the company’s stocks lost 60% of their value this year alone. Most of their losses started occurring after Musk offered to buy Twitter in April, with the lawsuit that followed when he tried to back out of the deal, and him selling nearly $40 billion in Tesla stocks to fund his eventual purchase of Twitter.
If the self-proclaimed ”Elon fanboy” and third largest shareholder at Tesla is tweeting things like this, you can only imagine how the rest of Tesla shareholders are feeling.
Musk and the shareholders better hope the recent Steam integration on select Tesla Models and future updates are enough to move the needle and improve the company's situation. It also wouldn't hurt if Musk actually steps down from Twitter and gets someone competent to run the company in his stead.