Twitter users voted for Elon Musk’s resignation as the platform’s chief executive after the billionaire polled him about his future. A total of 57.5% voted yes after Musk asked his 122 million followers whether he should step down. Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion, said he would stick with the poll’s conclusions. The tech mogul, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX, has faced a lot of criticism since taking over the site. Musk has yet to comment on this since the poll closed. Even if he resigns as CEO, he will remain the owner of Twitter. More than 17.5 million users voted in his poll on Monday, with 42.5% voting against Musk’s resignation. In the past, Musk has followed Twitter polls. He likes to quote the Latin phrase “vox populi, vox Dei”, which means something like “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.
A recently retired former Twitter employee told the BBC that Mr. Musk “shows himself to be an incompetent idiot”. On condition of anonymity, they added: “His investors are certainly looking at this now and wondering if he was the right horse to back. “I think he feels pressure from investors to step down and is using the polls to make it look like he is following the will of the people and not the will of the person paying the bills.”
Dan Ives, a senior equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, told the BBC ahead of the poll’s conclusion that he believes the vote will ultimately end Musk’s tenure as Twitter boss, and that he’s next. He said he is likely to appoint a new interim CEO within 24 hours. Twitter has witnessed a series of controversial changes since Musk acquired the social media site.
He laid off about half of his staff and before pausing he tried to roll out Twitter’s paid reviews feature. This feature was renewed last week. He has also been criticized for his approach to content moderation, with some civil liberties groups accusing him of taking steps that will increase hate speech and misinformation. On Friday, Mr. Musk was condemned 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 is “not a toy”, while the EU threatened Twitter with sanctions. After starting the poll, Mr. Musk tweeted: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it.”
He added later: “Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it.”
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, added investors at Tesla would be “closely watching” Mr. Musk’s poll. “Given how much of a distraction Musk’s tenure at Twitter has become, shareholders in the electric vehicle manufacturer will be breathing a big sigh of relief if he steps back from Twitter and gets back to the day job at Tesla,” he said. “As someone who takes his work ethic very seriously, Musk certainly seems to spend a lot of time on social media. With Tesla shares more than halved year-to-date, Musk is rolling up his sleeves. We need to get our core business back on track.” Tesla shares rose about 3% each to about $154 on the U.S. stock exchange in early trading on Monday. However, it has lost nearly 60% of its value this year.