Should Elon Musk Step Down as CEO? Twitter Poll Results Reveal Majority in Favor
Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, posed an informal poll on Sunday to the platform's users, inquiring whether he should hand over his CEO position. He stated that he will abide by the results of the poll, but it is not certain if he will follow through on this. The poll ended on Monday morning, with the majority of those taking part voting in favor of Musk stepping down.
Elon Musk, the new owner and CEO of Twitter, posted a casual survey of the social media users on Sunday inquiring whether he should resign from the organization's leadership. On Monday morning at 6:20am ET, the poll finished with 57.5% of respondents urging that he step down from the position. At the time of closing, the survey was completed by more than 17 million users.
In response to a poll, Elon Musk declared he would abide by the results. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen if he sticks to his word. On Monday, Tesla shares, another of Musk's ventures, surged over 4% in US premarket trading.
Back in November, he stated in court that he would reduce his involvement with Twitter and find someone else to take charge. On the contrary, he wrote in a tweet on Sunday that there is no potential replacement who can maintain the platform.
"The matter is not about locating a CEO, but rather, finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive," Musk stated.
No one seems eager to take up the role of succeeding Elon Musk as "Chief Twit," according to a poll the billionaire conducted on Sunday. Musk responded to speculation that he had already chosen a replacement by saying that "no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive."
Twitter polls, however, should be taken with a grain of salt; they are neither authoritative nor professionally conducted public opinion research. Additionally, malicious bots or inauthentic accounts may be able to respond to these polls.
The poll comes after the recent uproar surrounding Musk's sudden changes to policies impacting Twitter users in the last week.
On Sunday, the company implemented a new policy on the promotion of its social media platform, restricting users from sharing links to other social media accounts. This created an uproar with longtime Musk friends and proponents, like Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, causing Musk to apologize and retract the changes.
Previously, Twitter had updated its rules on ‘doxxing’, which involves the public sharing of personal private info without prior consent. This new policy restricts the sharing of home addresses, physical location info and other contact details. As a result, several U.S. journalists, commentators and others that have had criticisms of the CEO or his ventures were suspended from Twitter. Some of the accounts have been reinstated, although not all.
The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk has been a turbulent one, with the most recent development being the suspensions of some accounts. The acquisition of the company, worth around $44 billion, was completed by Musk back in October, and this has seen huge layoffs, an increase in racist abuse on the platform, and consequently, advertisers either leaving or drastically reducing their budget. Despite this, Musk states that Twitter usage is at an all-time high since he took over as well as a reduction in hate speech impressions.
Billionaire Elon Musk's involvement with Twitter is seeping into, and raising questions about, his other company operations. For instance, Musk has utilized proceeds from the sale of Tesla stock this year to finance the acquisition of Twitter. In addition, Tesla and SpaceX executives, engineers, and attorneys have been recruited to support him with the social media platform.
Tesla has recently experienced further turmoil due to Musk's Twitter management. The car manufacturer is offering discounts on vehicles in China, an indication of the decreasing demand for its cars there, according to Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein, who was featured on CNBC's 'Squawk on the Street' last week.
The NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson, asked SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell if Musk’s “distraction” with Twitter could affect the venture's collaboration with the space agency, as reported by NBC News. Nelson informed that Shotwell reassured him that it would not.
Shares of Tesla have dropped by around 60% since the start of the year, joining a general retreat of growth stocks that has seen the Nasdaq Composite index fall by over 30%. With the chaos caused by Elon Musk's use of Twitter becoming an increasingly prominent issue, Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities has suggested that the Tesla CEO should find somebody else to run the social media platform.
Ives added that Musk's Twitter behavior was becoming a “major headache and overhang” for Tesla's stock price and public image, suggesting that it was time for the tycoon to assign a permanent CEO to “end the pain”.
Leo Koguan, Tesla's largest retail shareholder, voiced his disapproval in a tweet on Dec. 14, calling attention to the fact that the company had no working CEO and urging the board of directors to take action. Koguan argued that Tesla requires and deserves a full-time CEO. Last week, Elon Musk tweeted that he will make sure Tesla shareholders are rewarded in the end.
However, a survey conducted by Der Spiegel recently revealed that a large majority (63%) of respondents have a negative perception of Musk's performance as Tesla's CEO. Additionally, only 9% of the people surveyed found the Tesla brand to be likable, ranking it behind car makers including Volkswagen, BMW and Opel. Despite the poor brand favorability, Tesla has been investing heavily in the German market, having opened a major vehicle assembly plant in Grünheide in March 2021.
At 3:30 AM Eastern Time, the majority of poll respondents voted for Musk to step down from his position.