Musk seeks boss ‘foolish enough’ for Twitter after agreeing to step down in wake of internet poll
Elon Musk said he will step down as chief executive of Twitter after finding someone ‘foolish enough’ to replace him.
The billionaire also warned the social media website was like a plane heading ‘towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire’ as he sought to defend his time in charge of the business.
Musk, formerly the world’s richest man, announced his plans to quit as the boss of Twitter after a poll of the site’s users earlier this week voted for him to step down, with 57.5 per cent wanting him to go.
Help wanted: Elon Musk (pictured) warned Twitter was like a plane heading ‘towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire’
Musk had promised to abide by the result but a period of silence sparked speculation he may be looking to hang on.
However, he finally came clean saying he would ‘resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job’.
But in a sign he will remain heavily involved in the business, he said he would continue to ‘run the software and servers teams’.
The 51-year-old has come under increasing pressure over his stewardship of Twitter, which he bought for £38billion in October following a drawn-out legal struggle with the company after trying to back out of the deal.
The tycoon defended his leadership of the company in an online forum, saying that without a series of controversial cost-saving measures Twitter would be facing a ‘negative cash flow situation of $3billion a year’.
He went on: ‘We have an emergency fire drill on our hands… you’re looking at it from my standpoint and you’re saying, “OK, wow, this company is basically in a plane that is headed towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work”.
‘That’s the reason for my actions that may seem sometimes spurious.’
The billionaire’s strategy has involved sacking around half of Twitter’s workforce, equivalent to several thousand staff, raising concerns about whether parts of the business now have enough people to keep them running effectively.
He has also faced criticism for reinstating banned users including former US president Donald Trump as well as suspending the accounts of individuals, including journalists, who have criticised him.
Meanwhile, Tesla investors have become increasingly exasperated with Musk’s behaviour at Twitter, with some believing his antics are distracting him from his other job as boss of the electric car maker as well as a pantheon of other businesses, including rocket firm SpaceX.
Tesla’s share price has fallen around 66 per cent this year and is trading at its lowest level since November 2020.
The stock has come under pressure from Musk selling £20billion worth of shares since April when he first tabled a bid for Twitter, with some of the proceeds being used to help fund the acquisition.
The slide has also knocked billions of Musk’s net worth, with the tycoon being overtaken as the world’s richest man by French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH.