Elon Musk polls Twitter users if he should step down as Twitter CEO

Over 57 percent of people say yes.
Ameya Paleja
Elon Musk

Sunday evening in the U.S., Elon Musk did what he usually does on Sunday evenings. Spend time on Twitter and run a random poll. This time around, though, the poll concerned Musk's future responsibilities, and he asked if he should step down as CEO of the recently acquired social media company.

At the time of writing this, there were three hours left for the poll to close, and Musk had said he would abide by the poll results.

Musk's poll is interestingly what many people are also thinking about. Since Musk walked into Twitter headquarters with a kitchen sink at the end of October, a lot has changed. More than half of Twitter employees have been laid off, and many have wondered how long the social media can survive with the skeletal staff.

Musk has been trying to roll out the subscription-based service Twitter Blue, which has been quite a mess under Musk's leadership and the website's users into a tizzy with multiple "verified" accounts claiming some absurd things. Musk had his team had to shut down the service to make it all go away. But the toll of Musk's time at Twitter has been greater than that.

Tesla stock is sinking

Earlier in January this year, Elon Musk was sitting on a personal fortune that exceeded $300 billion, fuelled by the meteoric rise of the stock price of his electric vehicle-making company Tesla. Later that month, he began his move to acquire Twitter stock and, by April, made his open offer to the Tesla board.

Musk, who had been warning the world about an incoming recession, could not have ill-time his offer more; since the U.S. Federal Bank began increasing interest rates to rein in runaway inflation and tech stocks across the board took a beating, Musk's tech-heavy Tesla was no exception.

Tesla's slide has continued to date, largely due to two main factors. One is the offloading of Tesla shares that Musk has been engaging in, while the other is the amount of time Musk is spending at Twitter. A trillion-dollar company just a year ago, Tesla's valuation is now below $500 billion, and many believe it will revive only when Musk drops the CEO title at Twitter.

Musk's Twitter polls

Through this poll, Musk might appear like he is considering public opinion to make his decision. However, as we have seen in the past year, while Musk's polls appear so, he has made up his mind, even before posting the poll.

As Tesla stock climbed to record heights last year, the clamor for Musk to pay taxes grew, and Musk conducted a poll to ask people if he should sell Tesla stock to pay his taxes. The poll said yes, and Musk promptly did so. However, as it later became clear, Musk was due to receive more stock from Tesla, which would expire if he did not exercise the option. So, the poll did not really matter.

Similarly, Musk held a poll last week for reinstating some Twitter accounts after he alleged that they had shared his live location on the platform. The account suspensions belonged to some prominent journalists and got Musk bad publicity.

Since the suspensions were enacted without sufficient explanation, they had to be restored, but Musk attributed the move to a win for the public on the platform.

Last month, Interesting Engineering reported how Musk's lawyers had said in court that he did not wish to be CEO of any company. Eventually, Twitter would have another person as the CEO. It is unlikely that Musk will begin the search for a CEO just because some eight million people (57 percent) asked him to step down.

Instead, Musk may have found a suitable successor who could take Twitter ahead. The question is, who?

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