Twitter votes for Elon Musk to step down after pressure from Tesla investors

Elon Musk has put his role as head of Twitter up to a vote, and the people have spoken: He should step down as the leader of the social media platform he owns.

It comes after pressure from Tesla investors, who feel abandoned.

As we reported over the last few weeks, Tesla investors have become more vocal about their dissatisfaction with their CEO, Elon Musk, spending a lot of time on Twitter and selling Tesla shares to support the company.

On top of it, many see him becoming more political through his own use and leadership of Twitter and believe that the trend is affecting Tesla as many car buyers have difficulties separating Tesla and Musk.

Tesla investors have been calling for Musk to step down from the role of CEO at Twitter and refocus on Tesla, but Musk has mostly ignored their pleas.

It reached a level where investors were starting to now call for Musk to step down from his role as CEO of Tesla instead.

Leo KoGuan, the third largest Tesla investor, told Electrek last week:

The point of no return, Elon has moved on permanently I think from Elon the engineer par-excellent to Elon the supreme political king-maker. Based on this assumption, only based on this assumption, Elon should find his own successor approved by independent BOD members. Of course, BOD should set up an independent search committee to find a new CEO.

Following a few more mistakes over the last few days, like suspending journalists and banning sharing links to other social media, both moves that were later at least partly reverted, Musk’s own leadership of Twitter has come into question as well.

Stuck between the two, Musk took to Twitter yesterday with a poll to ask whether he should remain the head of Twitter:

The CEO says that he will abide by the result of the poll – something he has done in the past over other matters.

Over 17 million people voted and a somewhat strong majority (57%) voted in favor of him stepping down. That’s impressive considering Musk has a block list preventing people he dislikes from seeing or voting in this poll and the poll went out to his own followers.

Musk doesn’t appear to have a clear successor to lead Twitter – though he tweeted with Lex Fridman, an AI engineer and podcaster, about potentially taking over.

Tesla’s stock (TSLA) was up by as much as 5% in pre-market trading following news of the poll.

Electrek’s Take

Let’s see what he means by “stepping down” here. He still owns the company and it is private. As far as we know, there’s no board in place yet nor a clear structure to find a replacement.

Therefore, I don’t think finding someone else to lead the day-to-day will resolve all the issues for Tesla shareholders, but it would certainly free up more time for the CEO to spend on the company.

However, the loss in credibility that he suffered through those Twitter antics is likely to have a lasting impact on both Tesla and Twitter.

Top comment by ceebeelee

Liked by 16 people

Frederic, I do not think he "abided by" past polls. I think they were always, so far, fait-accompli's. Until this one, he has simply taken on fairly safe bets by making a poll which a pretty safe outcome, so as not to be accountable for his decision.

This time, that might even be the case too. ie he may have decided to leave. Or he's too torn and wants some random, non-representative and weakly-informed crowd to make a decision for him.

But in the past, they have been PR stunts, not plebiscites.

View all comments

As for the latter, if Musk truly wants it to be a platform for free speech that serves the center rather than the extremes of both political sides, Twitter is probably better off with someone more apolitical than himself.

Fridman could potentially be a good option in my opinion. He does seem less political and more level-headed than Musk.

Either way, I hope that this means I can soon stop reporting on this Twitter nonsense and focus on more fun stuff again.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

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