The announcement came just over eight weeks into Musk’s turbulent tenure as head of the social media platform. He added that after finding a replacement, he would “run the software & servers teams” at the company.
Things came to a head for the billionaire on Sunday. After a tumultuous few days in which Twitter banned both prominent journalists and the promotion of rival social media platforms — decisions that were subsequently reversed — Musk ran a Twitter poll to determine whether he should stay on as Chief Twit.
The results came in on Monday morning. More than 17.5 million users voted, and 57.5% said Musk should step down. Musk had said he would abide by the results of the poll, but he waited around 40 hours before confirming that he would indeed vacate the CEO post.
No timeline for a replacement has yet been announced, and Musk has previously warned that anyone wanting to run Twitter “must like pain a lot.” And whoever takes the helm of the company, which Musk purchased for $44 billion, will have a tough road ahead of them.
The company has never been profitable, and Musk has warned that it is on the way to bankruptcy. During the billionaire’s controversial time as CEO, major companies have halted advertising on the site. The relaunch of Twitter Blue, a subscription service that Musk declared would be a profit stream for the company, was delayed several times. Now that it is up and running again, it is unclear how many people have subscribed.
And problems are mounting elsewhere for Musk, who is also CEO of Tesla. A number of high-profile investors have complained loudly that Musk’s erratic leadership of Twitter has adversely impacted the car company, whose share value plummeted from almost $400 at the start of this year to just $138 today. Because most of Musk’s wealth comes from his Tesla stock, he is no longer the world’s richest person.
Musk participated in a Twitter Space last night during which he said that Twitter’s future was improved by his leadership. “That is why I spent the last five weeks cutting costs like crazy,” he explained. “This company is like, basically, you are in a plane that is headed toward the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.”