Twitter poll shows majority wants Elon Musk’s head as CEO

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It’s difficult to argue with numbers and, according to a Twitter poll, the majority of users would like to see Elon Musk, a billionaire who took over the business less than two months ago, step down as CEO of the social media platform.

Around 57.5 percent of voters gave Musk a thumbs down, meaning they said “Yes” to the idea of him stepping down. This was against 42.5 percent who gave a “nay” to the idea, according to the poll the billionaire launched on Sunday evening. Over 17.5 million people voted.

Musk vowed on Sunday to do as the majority of voters pleased with regard to him staying or going, albeit he cut short of providing details on when he would step down if the vox populi wished it.

Making an appearance at the riveting World Cup final match between Argentina and France in Qatar on Sunday, Musk has not yet responded to the results of Monday's poll and neither did Twitter. “Elon” and “CEO of Twitter” were among the trending topics on the social media platform on Monday.

Refurbishing Augeas’ stables

The poll results crowned a roller coaster of actions over the past few days, not excluding the suspension of journalists which triggered blasts from news organizations, advocacy groups and officials across Europe.

Even long-time supporters wanted to have their vengeance following the sudden banning of accounts that promoted rival social media platforms such as Facebook.

Startup fund Y-Combinator founder Paul Graham, who backed Musk in his endeavour to purchase Twitter, said on Sunday he would take a break from Twitter and asked followers to join him via a link to his account on his personal web page on Mastodon – an alternative to Twitter.

Initially, Twitter suspended Graham’s account in what seemed like retaliation for abandoning the ship. Later, however, the account was reinstated.

Twitter has been on a tortuous and bumpy road ever since Musk took over in October with the poll marking the latest twist in the Twitter saga that also included the Twitter Files, rapid firings of top management and thousands of employees, seesawing on how much to charge for the social media firm's subscription service Twitter Blue, and reinstating banned accounts, including that of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Adopting a direct democracy tone, Musk said he would put all Twitter policy changes to vote via public polls.

Musk, Tesla and the bumpy road called Twitter

While Musk is preoccupied with his new toy, people at Tesla Inc, of which Musk enjoys 446.2 million shares, representing 14.13 percent of the stock, become edgy with the self-confessed “nanomanager’s” distraction at a critical time for the world's largest electric-vehicle maker.

Tesla shares gave up some of their premarket gains and opened up about 2 percent at USD 152.90, Reuters reported, adding that they have lost nearly 60 percent of their value this year.

Tesla ticked off a downgrade from Oppenheimer analysts over, as they put it, the negative sentiment on Twitter that could linger long-term and become an overhang on the car producer.

“If he [Musk] does decide to step down, that could inject Tesla shares with a temporary shot of optimism, amid hopes he might finally pay the carmaker the attention it needs,” Susannah Streeter, an investment and market analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown, felt.

Speaking at her own behest Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren was concerned over the fact that Tesla's board of directors has failed to meet its legal responsibility to protect Tesla in the aftermath of Musk's acquisition of Twitter.

Way too much uncertainty,” Tesla investor Matthew Tuttle of Tuttle Capital Management said, adding that he planned to sell most Tesla shares that he bought on Friday. “A CEO is supposed to make decisions that are in the best interest of a company and shareholders, not based on what random people on Twitter think.”

“No one wants the job”

Last month Musk said he had too much work on his plate and would reduce his time at Twitter, while eventually finding a new leader to run the social media company. But replying to a Twitter user's comment on a possible change in CEO, Musk said on Sunday that “there is no successor” and “no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive.”