Twitter’s mercurial new boss may be out the door after less than two months on the job, if results of a Twitter poll go against him.
Elon Musk tweeted a poll Sunday evening asking people to vote on whether he should step down as Twitter’s CEO. Musk said he would abide by the poll’s results.
As of Sunday evening, “Yes” was winning by a margin of 58% to 42%.
In several follow-up tweets, Musk suggested that he was serious about leaving and made a vague threat about Twitter’s future if he is voted out.
“As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it,” Musk tweeted.
Since buying Twitter for $44 billion and taking over as CEO in late October, Musk has journeyed from one controversy to the next.
A brief and incomplete recap:
- Musk immediately laid off several top executives and laid off about half of Twitter’s staff.
- He then gave an ultimatum to the remaining staff that they need to do “extremely hardcore” work or leave — and another thousand or so employees headed out the door.
- Musk has fired employees who openly disagreed with him and publicly named and shamed former employees who were engaged in difficult moderation discussions as part of the ongoing “Twitter Files.”
- Musk has also started, stopped and started again a revised verification system that costs $8 for a blue check mark and initially led to widespread account spoofing.
- Musk has frequently changed Twitter’s rules by executive fiat and with no notice, banning people who violate the new rules — including several tech journalists and an account that tracked his jet. Musk had once tweeted that allowing the ElonJet account to remain on Twitter demonstrated his commitment to free speech on the platform.
- He has waded deeply into the culture wars, allowing some of the platform’s permanently banned accounts back on, including former President Donald Trump and many people who had been engaged in misinformation, conspiracy theories or hate speech.
Meanwhile, brands have been removing their advertising from Twitter left and right. Musk has frequently stated that Twitter’s finances are dire.
Replying to a tweet Sunday, in which MIT artificial intelligence researcher Lex Fridman said he would take the CEO job, Musk hinted he hasn’t been completely happy with his new gig.
“You must like pain a lot,” Musk tweeted, noting the company “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May.”
Yet Musk denied that he has a new CEO in mind.
“No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor,” Musk tweeted. “The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.”