Elon Musk has said he will resign as chief executive officer of Twitter once he finds someone “foolish enough to take the job”. The billionaire had earlier promised to follow up on the result of a Twitter poll in which 57.5% of users voted “yes” for him to leave the role.
He says he will continue to run the software and server teams even after his replacement is found. There has been a lot of criticism of the changes to the platform since their acquisition. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Since Mr Musk bought the social media site in October, he has fired about half its staff and attempted to rollout Twitter’s paid-for verification feature before halting it. This feature was relaunched last week.
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2022
Civil liberties groups have also criticized his approach to content moderation, accusing him of taking steps that would increase hate speech and misinformation. Mr Musk was condemned by the United Nations and the European Union on Friday over Twitter’s decision to suspend some journalists covering the social media firm.
The United Nations tweeted that media freedom was “no toy”, while the European Union threatened Twitter with sanctions. It is the first time the billionaire has answered a poll launched on Sunday asking whether he should resign. According to Mr Musk, finding someone to handle the social media platform could be a challenge.
Some speculate that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey may also return to run the company. He resigned as Chief Executive in November 2021. After the election, he tweeted, “Nobody wants a job that can actually keep Twitter alive.”
Other names mentioned as possible replacements include Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s former chief operating officer, Sriram Krishnan, the engineer and a close confidante of Mr Musk, and Jared Kushner, former US presidential adviser and son-in-law to Donald Trump. Mr Musk has followed Twitter polls in the past. He is fond of quoting the Latin phrase vox populi, vox Dei, which roughly means “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.
No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 19, 2022
In response to a tweet that said Twitter Blue subscribers “can vote in policy polls, only they should. We really do have skin in the game”, Mr Musk said: “Good point, Twitter that changed.” Will go.”
Twitter’s paid-for verification feature was launched last week for the second time. The service costs $8 per month, or $11 for those using the Twitter app on Apple devices, and gives “blue ticks” to subscribers.
Previously a blue tick was used as a badge of authenticity and was free. For weeks, investors have asked Mr Musk to stop running the social media platform, which he says has distracted him from running Tesla properly. Shares of the electric car company have declined by more than 65% in the last one year.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
Mr Musk sold billions of dollars worth of Tesla shares to help fund his purchase, which helped push shares down. “Finally a good step in the right direction to end this painful nightmare situation for Tesla investors,” said Dan Ives of investment firm Wedbush Securities after Musk’s tweet on Tuesday.