Twitter Poll Wants Musk Out as CEO. He Promised to Abide

Most users want him to step down
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2022 1:22 AM CST
Updated Dec 19, 2022 6:31 AM CST
Elon Musk Says Twitter Users Can Decide His Fate as CEO
FILE - SpaceX's Elon Musk waves while providing an update on Starship, on Feb. 10, 2022, near Brownsville, Texas.   (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP, File)
UPDATE Dec 19, 2022 6:31 AM CST

Should Elon Musk step down as CEO of Twitter? He commissioned a new poll of users asking that question and promised to abide by the results. By Monday morning, the results were in: The majority of the approximately 17 million voters called for him to step down, 57.5% to 42.5%. It's not clear if Musk will actually abide by the results, but CNBC notes he has said that was always the plan—as in, he would own the platform but not run it. One group happy about this: Tesla investors. Shares were up more than 4% in premarket trading, presumably on the hopes Musk will no longer be distracted by his Twitter responsibilities. Musk was being coy after posting the poll: "Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it," he tweeted.

Dec 19, 2022 1:22 AM CST

Elon Musk is back with another Twitter poll, this time one that he says will decide his own fate as CEO of the social media company. "Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll," Musk tweeted Sunday. As of around 4am Eastern time Monday, with two hours left to vote and more than 15 million votes so far, "Yes" was leading with 57.3%. "As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it," Musk tweeted later Sunday. Replying to someone who suggested Musk already has a successor in mind and would himself "retire" to a position as chairman of the board, Musk said, "No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor." And to someone who offered to take over as CEO, Musk noted, "One catch: you have to invest your life savings in Twitter and it has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May."

As the New York Times reports, Musk posted the poll after banning more than 25 accounts that used publicly available data to track private planes, suspending the accounts of a number of journalists (then un-suspending them after yet another poll), and then rolling out a new policy barring Twitter users from promoting their accounts on competing websites, which was quickly rescinded. Even "Silicon Valley technologists and entrepreneurs" who used to back Musk lashed out against the new policy, the Times reports, leading to what the newspaper refers to as an apparent "crisis of confidence" on Musk's end. He backtracked on the policy, which now only bans accounts that exist mainly to promote competing sites, said he'd hold a vote for major policy changes in the future, and posted the poll about his own future as CEO. (More Elon Musk stories.)

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