Twitter vote Created by Elon Musk asking if he should “step down as chairman of Twitter” it ended early Monday morning with most respondents voting in the affirmative.
Musk had said he would abide by the results of the poll, which began Sunday evening and concluded with 57% yes and 43% no.
More than 17 million votes were cast in the informal referendum on his chaotic leadership of Twitter, which has been marked by mass layoffs, the reinstatement of suspended accounts that violated Twitter’s rules, the suspension of journalists who cover it, and execution policy changes made and reversed in real time.
Musk did not immediately respond to the outcome of the vote.
The survey findings come at a time when its business is facing renewed challenges. Since Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter in October, a number of brands have paused advertising on the platform. Musk has repeatedly stated that Twitter’s finances are dire. Twitter is on track to lose $4 billion a year after advertisers go out, estimates Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
Responding to a tweet Sunday in which MIT artificial intelligence researcher Lex Friedman said he would take over as CEO, Musk hinted that he wasn’t entirely happy with his new job.
“You must love the pain so much,” Musk wrote on Twitter, noting that the company “has been on a fast track to bankruptcy since May.”
However, Musk denied that he had a new CEO in mind.
“Nobody wants the job that can actually keep Twitter alive,” Musk tweeted. “The question isn’t finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.”
Musk sold billions of dollars’ worth of Tesla stock, likely to pay for his purchase of Twitter. This sent Tesla stock down 11% over the past month. But Tesla shares rose 5% in pre-market trading after the survey results were revealed.
“This has been a dark moment for Musk and a huge drag on Tesla stock which has been suffering in a brutal way since the Twitter soap opera began with the Musk-related brand deterioration a real problem,” Ives said in a note to clients Monday.
With or without the CEO title, Musk will almost certainly continue to control the company’s direction.
After taking over Twitter, Musk dissolved the company’s board of directors and emptied the C-Suite. As the sole director of the board and owner of the company, Musk can appoint the next CEO — and also tell that person what to do in that position.
In place of Twitter’s previous leadership, Musk has enlisted venture capitalists and friends to work with him as he evaluates a number of significant changes at the company. The list includes investor Jason Calacanis, Kraft Ventures partner David Sachs, and Sriram Krishnan, a general partner of Andreessen Horowitz focused on crypto and former leadership of Twitter’s consumer teams.
Some of those individuals could now be on the shortlist to take over as CEO if Musk makes good on his promise and steps down.
Shortly after Musk posted his latest poll, Calacanis Post a poll He asks himself who should become Twitter’s next CEO: himself, Sachs, or Calacannis and Sachs together as co-CEOs.
As of this post, the fourth option was the winner by a wide margin: “Other.”
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