Elon Musk will resign as Twitter CEO after being defeated in his own disastrous poll.
The Tesla boss, 51, said he would ‘abide by’ the result of the poll he organized and promised to honor – where he asked users whether he should step down.
Tonight, he confirmed that he’d be stepping down from the role he paid $44billion for – after he finds a replacement ‘foolish enough’ to take over.
The billionaire tweeted: ‘I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams.’
A man of his word: Elon Musk said he will be resigning as CEO after being defeated in his own Twitter poll
The result of his poll was confirmed on Monday morning, with a total of 57.5 percent of more than 17 million accounts voting for him to step down from his position.
By comparison, 42.5 per cent voted in favor of keeping him on as head of the website, the equivalent of nearly 7.5million users.
After setting the poll live Musk warned: ‘As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it.’
Normally a prolific user of the platform, Musk, who also runs car maker Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX, did not tweet in the immediate hours following the poll.
His silence was finally broken just before 11.30pm Monday, when he responded: ‘Interesting’ to a suggestion from convicted fraudster Kim Dotcom, founder of the once wildly popular file-sharing website Megaupload, that the results of the poll were skewed by fake accounts.
Replying to another user’s suggestion that ‘Blue subscribers should be the only ones that can vote in policy-related polls,’ Musk said: ‘Good point. Twitter will make that change.’
His Twitter stream continued into the early hours of Tuesday morning, linking to the site’s World Cup statistics and laughing at a satirical take on Bruce Wayne running a poll about stepping down as Batman.
In recent days, Musk has suspended the accounts of several journalists after complaining some had published details about the movements of his private jet, which he claimed could endanger his family.
The billionaire tweeted: ‘I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams’
How Elon Musk has rolled out his Twitter revolution
October 27: Elon Musk seals his protracted Twitter takeover, announcing his arrival by changing his Twitter bio to ‘Chief Twit’.
The tycoon bought the social media platform for $44billion, but only after the firm launched legal action in an attempt to force Musk to complete his takeover.
Sackings of senior executives including CEO Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal are among the early decisions made by Musk in the first hours after taking control.
October 28: Musk announces plans to introduce paid-for ‘blue tick’ verification through its Twitter Blue service, but the measures descend into chaos when a spate of fake accounts are able to pose as big firms and famous individuals.
November 3: Musk announces the mass lay-offs are to begin imminently as he looks to sharply reduce the company’s workforce.
Around half of the workforce end up leaving.
November 16: Musk tells remaining employees they have a day to sign up to a ‘hardcore’ new work regime.
November 23: Musk uses a Twitter poll to reinforce his plans to lift bans on thousands of accounts, including former US President Donald Trump’s.
Others to have their bans lifted include rapper Kanye West and clinical psychologist turned author and speaker Dr Jordan Peterson.
December 5: Under Musk’s direction, Twitter begins releasing tranches of files documenting the alleged left-wing bias of the the company’s employees before the takeover.
Some show how the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was actively suppressed by Twitter.
December 12: Twitter relaunches Twitter Blue subscription, allowing users to pay $8 a month (£6.50) and get a blue tick in return.
Gold checkmarks are introduced for verified business accounts, with government accounts given a grey checkmark.
December 13: Reports emerge that Twitter has not paid rent on its office spaces for weeks.
December 18: Elon Musk launches a poll on Twitter that askes his 112million followers: ‘Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.’
December 19: Nearly 60 per cent of the 17.5million who voted say he should step down.
Employees of CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post were among those affected in a move that drew sharp criticism, including from the European Union and the United Nations.
On Sunday, Twitter users were told they would no longer be able to promote content from other social media sites.
But Musk seemed to reverse course a few hours later, writing that the policy would be limited to ‘suspending accounts only when that account’s *primary* purpose is promotion of competitors.’
‘Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again,’ he tweeted.
The attempted ban had prompted howls of disapproval, and bemused even Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, who had backed Musk’s takeover.
Dorsey questioned the new policy with a one-word tweet: ‘Why?’
Unpredictable entrepreneur Musk has owned Twitter since October 27.
His Sunday night poll came after weeks of controversial decisions including sacking half of Twitter’s global staff, readmitting far-right figures to the platform, and trying to charge for previously free services.
Twitter has also said it would no longer work to combat Covid-19 disinformation.
Analysts have also pointed out that the stock price of Tesla has slumped by one-third since Musk’s takeover. The share price briefly rallied by 3.3 percent on Monday before fading again.
Some online safety groups have accused the billionaire of allowing hate, abuse and misinformation to more easily circulate on the platform because of his free speech principles.
While it remains unclear who could replace Musk if he does decide to step down, several commentators have noted that the billionaire would still have the final say on major decisions as Twitter’s owner.