Elon Musk asks in a Twitter poll whether he should step down as Twitter CEO

On Sunday, Twitter’s new owner and CEO will be Elon Musk published an informal poll of users of the social media platform have asked if they should step down as head of the company. As of 3:30 a.m. ET, 15.2 million votes had been cast, with a majority of respondents (57%) calling for the billionaire to leave his post.

Musk claimed he will stick to the results of the poll, which is due to be completed early Monday morning, but it’s unclear whether or not he will actually do so.

Musk told the court in November, “I expect to cut back on my time on Twitter and eventually find someone to run Twitter.” However, on Sunday he tweeted that he existed no possible successor for him at the social media company.

“The question isn’t finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.” he wrote.

Twitter polls are straw polls, i.e. informal and not comparable to professional opinion polls. Malicious bots or inauthentic accounts may also register a response to a Twitter poll.

Musk’s Sunday poll followed an online backlash after the “Chief Twit” (as he called himself) made sudden policy changes that impacted Twitter’s users last week.

For example, on Sunday the company rolled out a new advertising policy for social media platforms that prohibited users from sharing links to some of their other social media accounts. Longtime friends and supporters of Musk, including Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, expressed dismay at the policy, which prompted Musk to later apologize and reverse it.

Days earlier, Twitter had made changes to its policy on “doxxing.” now defines the company as “sharing someone’s private information online without their permission”. The new policy prohibits users from sharing other people’s live location information, home addresses, contact information, or physical location information, but has left many confused as to what information crosses Twitter’s line.

Musk’s policy changes have been used as justification for suspending the Twitter accounts of a number of US-based journalists, commentators and others who have criticized the CEO or his companies in the past. Some of the accounts were fully or partially restored a few days later, but not all.

The suspensions marked the latest chapter in Musk’s rocky takeover of Twitter. He led the company’s roughly $44 billion acquisition in October, and his leadership has resulted in massive staff cuts, a rise in racial hate speech, advertisers fleeing or cutting their spending on the platform, and the reinstatement of previously suspended accounts.

Musk claims that Twitter usage has reached an all-time high since he took over, and Hate speech impressions have dropped.

The billionaire’s management at Twitter is interfering with his other ventures and raising concerns about it.

For example, Musk has sold billions of dollars Tesla Stocks this year to fund Twitter acquisition. He’s also attracted talent from Tesla and SpaceX, including executives, engineers and lawyers, to join him on Twitter.

Earlier this month, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson asked SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell if Musk’s “distraction” on Twitter could interfere with SpaceX’s work with the space agency, NBC News reported. Nelson said she assured him that was not the case.

But Musk’s behavior on Twitter is negatively impacting his car company’s public image and share price. Shares of Tesla were down about 60% year-to-date as of Sunday evening. It comes amid a broad decline in growth stocks that has shaped the tech load Nasdaq Composite down more than 30% since the beginning of the year.

Tesla’s largest retail shareholder, Leo Koguan, wrote in a 12/14 tweet that “Elon has left Tesla and Tesla has no functioning CEO.” He urged the company’s board of directors to take action. “Tesla needs and deserves it [a] Full-time CEO,” he wrote, criticizing the company’s board for apparent inaction.

Musk tweeted last week that he will “Make Sure” Tesla Shareholders Benefit from Twitter long-term.

That was the result of a survey in the German newspaper Spiegel last week 63% of respondents feel that Elon Musk’s public appearance as CEO of Twitter had an overwhelmingly negative or clearly negative impact on their view of Tesla.

And just 9% of respondents to this survey said they find Tesla very or mostly likeable as a brand — the company ranks far behind VW, BMW, Opel and others in Germany. And that despite Tesla investing heavily in the German market. In March of this year, the company opened a large vehicle assembly plant in Grünheide near Berlin.

Correction: This article was updated to reflect that at 3:30 p.m. ET, the majority of poll participants had voted for Musk to leave his post.

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