Elon Musk said Tuesday he would step down as Twitter’s chief executive once he finds a replacement, in apparent response to a poll he launched that suggested users wanted him to step down.
Musk has fully owned Twitter since October 27 and has repeatedly sparked controversy as CEO, firing half of its employees, reinstating far-right figures on the platform, suspending journalists and attempting to charge for previously free services.
“I will step down as CEO as soon as I find someone stupid enough to do the job!” Musk tweeted, saying he will only run software and server teams at Twitter.
Twitter users want Musk to resign
In poll results released Monday, 57% of voters, or 10 million votes, favored Musk resigning just weeks after he acquired the company for $44 billion.
Musk has used the Twitter polls to make other decisions on the platform, including reinstating the account of former US President Donald Trump and other suspended users.
Earlier this week, he used a laughing emoji to mock a report that he was looking for someone to take over as Twitter CEO, tweeting that “nobody wants the job that Twitter actually does.” can keep alive”.
Watch: Musk confirms search for new Twitter CEO
Analysts have pointed out that the share price of his electric-car maker Tesla has fallen by a third since Musk took over Twitter, and some suspect Tesla’s board is pressuring him to ditch his Twitter role.
“Finally a good step in the right direction to end this painful nightmare situation for Tesla investors,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Tuesday.
In conversations with users after the release of his latest poll, Musk reiterated his warnings that the platform could be headed for bankruptcy.
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Politics by poll?
The unpredictable entrepreneur released his poll on his resignation shortly after trying to extricate himself from yet another controversy.
On Sunday, Twitter users were told they could no longer promote content from other social media sites.
But Musk appeared to reverse course a few hours later, writing that the policy would be limited to suspending accounts only if the “principal purpose of that account is to promote competitors.”
The attempted ban drew howls of disapproval and even confused Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who had backed Musk’s takeover.
Analyst Ives noted that “advertisers have gone astray and dumped Twitter squarely in the red ink, potentially on a path to losing about $4 billion a year.”
Musk’s controversial decisions
Shortly after acquiring the platform, Musk announced it would charge $8 a month to verify account holder identities, but he was forced to suspend the “Twitter Blue” plan after an embarrassing spate of fake accounts. It has since been reissued.
On November 4, when Musk said the company was losing $4 million a day, Twitter laid off half of its 7,500 employees.
Musk also restored Trump’s account – despite the former US president saying he has no interest in the platform – and said Twitter will no longer work to combat disinformation about Covid-19.
In recent days, he has suspended several journalists’ accounts after complaining that some had published details about his private jet’s movements, which he claimed could endanger his family.
Some of the suspended accounts have since been reactivated.
On Monday, the leader of the European Parliament, Speaker Roberta Metsola, sent a letter to Musk urging him to testify before the Legislature, her spokeswoman said.
Parliament has no power to compel Musk to appear, and his response was not immediately known.
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