In a stunning development, Elon Musk’s Twitter followers have been speaking up: They want him removed from his position as CEO of the social media platform.
The unexpected move was fueled by an online poll started by Musk about his future on the platform. More than two-thirds of Musk’s huge following responded to his question about resigning, with a staggering 57.5% saying yes.
Before the polls closed, Musk said he would accept any result voted by Twitter users regarding his $44 billion purchase of the platform.
Famed tech mogul Elon Musk – famous as the leader of Tesla and SpaceX – has faced a flurry of criticism since taking charge of his last company.
Despite the poll being closed, Musk has yet to respond to its findings. So despite possible changes in his role as CEO and owner of Twitter, we will always hear from Musk one way or another.
Musk’s poll sent a surge of engagement on Monday, with more than 17.5 million users casting their votes — 42.5 percent rejecting his potential resignation as CEO.
Over the years, Musk has been known to respect public opinion – even taking it directly into account by honoring polls placed on Twitter. His affinity for the phrase “vox populi, vox dei,” a Latin phrase that translates to “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” is significant.
Musk took a break from world-changing drudgery to watch the World Cup final. He was spotted in Qatar alongside US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner as he took time out from his busy schedule.
What They Say
A former Twitter employee, who recently left the company, gave his opinion to BBC News.
The former worker said Musk was “showing himself to be the incompetent fool we all knew he was.”
“His investors are surely looking at this now and questioning whether he was the right horse to back,” the anonymous worker added. “I imagine he’s getting pressure from investors to step down and is using this poll to make it look like he’s following the will of the people instead of the will of those paying his bills.”
With the clock ticking and poll results about to drop, the Binance founder reached out with a message of determination for Musk – encouraging him to remain steadfast in his position
Changpeng Zhao, a renowned investor in Twitter and other companies, showed his support for Musk as he made a whopping $500m investment toward the CEO’s takeover of the company.
Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities predicted that the Twitter poll would bring about a shift in power, possibly signaling an end to Elon Musk’s leadership on the platform.
Since the technology entrepreneur took the helm at Twitter, things have been turned upside-down. Costly restructuring measures led to a mass exodus of employees and sparked heated debates about his leadership style.
Musk’s Helm at the Platform
Musk made some sweeping changes to the company, firing nearly half of his employees and rolling out a verification function that was quickly put on hold. Luckily for users, things picked up again last week.
Furthermore, he has been met with criticism from civil liberties groups for his proposed methods of content moderation; they allege that such measures will lead to a rise in hate speech and false information.
On Friday, a wave of criticism crashed down on Musk’s move from two global bodies. The United Nations and European Union strongly disagreed with Twitter’s choice to suspend several news reporters covering the social media platform.
The UN and EU have taken a stand on media freedom: the former declared that it is “not a toy,” while the latter has warned Twitter of potential sanctions.
Despite being heralded as the “golden child,” Musk’s Tesla has encountered numerous challenges in recent months. According to Ives, these difficulties have been an unfortunate stain on both the company and its founder.
“Twitter right now – it’s a quicksand situation, and I think it’s gotten worse since Musk took over Twitter. It’s been a circus show,” he continued. “I think ultimately, in the next 24 hours, Musk will probably name a new temporary CEO of Twitter.”
After he launched the poll, Musk posted on Twitter: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it.”
“Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it,” he later said.
Weighing Twitter and Tesla
Ives has expressed his opinion that this is Musk’s subconscious response to the pressure of taking on too many ambitious projects. With such an impressive resume, one can only imagine how difficult it would be to juggle the leadership roles at Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX all at once.
“The biggest problem is the more controversy he creates, advertisers leave, and they run for the hills, and that’s 90% of revenue for Twitter,” he said.
With investors of Tesla no doubt intrigued by Musk’s Twitter poll, Russ Mould – investment director at AJ Bell- anticipates close observation going forward.
“Given how much of a distraction Musk’s tenure at Twitter has become, shareholders in the electric vehicle manufacturer will be breathing a big sigh of relief if he steps back from Twitter and gets back to the day job at Tesla,” he stated.
“For someone who sets so much store by work ethic, Musk sure seems to spend a lot of time on social media. With Tesla shares having more than halved year-to-date, Musk needs to roll up his sleeves and get his main business back on the road.”