Elon Musk Twitter poll set to decide if Tesla mogul stays Twitter CEO


SAN FRANCISCO — The future of Twitter under Elon Musk hangs in the balance Monday morning as the poll is set to determine if the tech mogul remains CEO of the social media site he bought for $44 billion.

On Sunday night, Musk launched a Twitter poll asking his 122 million followers, “Should I step down as the head of Twitter?” He said he would respect the results, later adding: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.”

Billionaire and self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” bought the company for $44 billion in October and named himself chief executive. Since then, he has become a frequent subject of his tweets, and employees have said he has been a regular presence at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.

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But this has worries investors – especially at Tesla – that the entrepreneur is overstretched. Some have questioned his effectiveness as CEO of two major tech companies, wondering if he can effectively fulfill both roles at once in addition to running rocket company SpaceX.

Adding fuel to the fire, Musk is known to conduct polls to affirm the decisions he has already made, perhaps most famously when he asked Twitter if he were to sell 10% of its stake in Tesla. Later, deposits showed Musk had already adopted a trading plan, at least partially challenging the poll.

Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday evening.

Musk made a series of changes to Twitter, where he said the top priority was fixing the company’s code. He laid off about half of the company’s employees 7,500 employees, issued an ultimatum mandating hardcore culture which caused hundreds of other leave, and changed Twitter’s rules on the fly and based on polls – including reinstatement former President Donald Trump.

It’s not immediately clear how much that would change if Musk stepped down as CEO, given that he would still own the company, along with his co-investors.

Musk previously reported that he had no intention of staying in charge of Twitter long term. He testified in court in Delaware last month that he planned to find someone else to manage Twitter and cut his time at the company. He spoke in response to a lawsuit from a Tesla shareholder, who claimed he had been overpaid for his work as part of a 2018 compensation package from the auto company, when he divided his time between several other companies.

The unscientific and unrepresentative poll regarding Musk’s leadership came after a whirlwind week for Musk. Tesla’s share price fell about 15% last week, capping a dismal performance of the past few months, as some investors called on him to step down from running one of his companies for better focus.

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Wednesday, Musk abruptly suspended an account who tracked his private jet relying on publicly available data. He followed this the next day by suspending journalists who had apparently tweeted about it – accusing them of posting “essentially assassination coordinates” for him and his family. Musk launched a poll on Thursday in which users voted for reintegrate the prohibitions.

On Sunday, as Musk tweeted from the World Cup final, looking next to former Trump adviser Jared Kushner, Twitter enacted new rules banning users from repeatedly promoting rival social networks on the site. , calling it a “gratuitous promotion” against the rules. Hordes of users, including some of Musk’s own supporters, dismissed the new policy as draconian, despite Musk’s pledge to restore what he called “free speech” to the site.

Musk’s new policy also banned the promotion of Facebook, Instagram and the Truth Social app, co-founded by Trump.

Musk issued a rare apology on Sunday after Twitter enacted new rules barring users from repeatedly promoting rival social networks on the site, saying he would put future policy decisions to a vote.

Later that night, @TwitterSafety tweeted out a poll asking, “Should we have a policy preventing the creation or use of existing accounts for the primary purpose of advertising other social media platforms?”

Tweets and the page outlining the new policies banning content from outside networks also appeared to have been removed.

Musk’s leadership poll was set to expire early Monday morning, before markets open on Wall Street, where Tesla has lost half of its more than $1 trillion valuation since the spring.

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“Those who want power deserve it the least,” Musk tweeted Sunday night, as millions cast their ballots and the poll pointed towards his resignation.

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