Elon Musk reveals plans to resign as Twitter CEO
Image credit: Reuters
Elon Musk has said he plans to step down as Twitter chief when he finds someone "foolish enough" to replace him.
The billionaire had promised to abide by the result of a Twitter poll where he asked users whether he should resign as the social media platform's chief executive officer.
After 57.5 per cent of users vote "yes", Musk said he would stay on as Twitter CEO until he could find "someone foolish enough to take the job". Once he did, the billionaire said he would "just run the software and servers teams".
This is not the first time the platform’s new owner has indicated he will pull back from the position. In November, the now second-richest person in the world told a court in Delaware that he would reduce his time at Twitter and eventually find someone to run it in his place.
According to CNBC, Musk would have been looking for a replacement since before posting the poll on his Twitter profile.
The Tesla owner took over Twitter in November, after finalising his $44bn (£38bn) takeover of the company.
Roughly 20 minutes after the poll regarding his leadership was posted, and as the 'yes' vote edged ahead, he added: "As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it."
Last month, the billionaire reportedly told remaining workers that the company he just bought could see "net negative cash flow of several billion dollars" in 2023 and "bankruptcy is not out of the question".
Responding to comments to his poll, he added: "The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive" and "No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor."
Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter has been met with widespread controversy. In the past two months, the new CEO has been criticised for dissolving the company's board of directors, making significant changes to the platform's content moderation policies and firing half of the company’s 7,500 workers, as well as a number of additional contractors.
It has been reported that a number of Twitter staff were fired for criticising Elon Musk on internal employee message boards. This mirrors a similar situation reported at SpaceX – now escalated to a legal matter – where a group of employees claim their jobs were terminated with immediate effect after circulating an open letter questioning certain aspects of Musk’s conduct.
Last week, Musk was also criticised by the United Nations and European Union over Twitter's decision to suspend some journalists who cover the social media firm.
The UN tweeted that media freedom was "not a toy", while the EU threatened Twitter with sanctions.
Musk's turbulent leadership of Twitter has also begun to cause economic concerns for the company, as several advertising firms have paused spending on the platform over concerns about his “absolute free speech” approach.
Twitter's current CEO has also created controversy after he turned on the platform's social media rivals by banning the promotion of their accounts on Twitter.
It meant users could have their accounts suspended, locked or deleted if they posted links to their profiles on other social media sites, including Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram, as well as Mastodon or Donald Trump's Truth Social.
The policy sparked widespread criticism and prompted the publication of a poll asking: "Should we have a policy preventing the creation of or use of existing accounts for the main purpose of advertising other social media platforms?"
'No' received 87 per cent of the vote. The rule was removed shortly afterwards.
Moreover, the Twitter saga has also impacted Musk's other businesses and raised concerns over his management style and his ability to pay interest on the $13bn (£11bn) debt he took on to buy it.
In the last year, shares in the electric car company Tesla have plummeted more than 65 per cent.
Although Musk has been known to obey the results of Twitter polls - which he calls "the voice of the people" - he announced on Tuesday that, going forward, Twitter would only allow paid subscribers with a blue tick to vote on changes to company policy.
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