Elon Musk will step down as Twitter boss – if he stands by his pledge to abide by the results of a poll asking users for their verdict on his tenure.
The owner of Tesla and SpaceX set his poll in motion just after 11pm UK time, writing: “Should I step down as head of Twitter?
“I will abide by the results of this poll.”
And as the deadline passed at 11.20am, 57.5% voted for him to leave.
Musk bought the platform for $44bn in late October, but his short tenure has been turbulent.
And in an apparent attempt to draw a line under his controversial reign, he polled Twitter users on Sunday to ask if he should step down.
Roughly 20 minutes later, with the ‘yes’ votes edging ahead, he added: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it.”
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He responded to a number of comments from users, telling one: “The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.”
He added: “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.”
Earlier on Sunday, he had declared war on Twitter’s social media rivals by banning the promotion of their accounts from his platform.
This means that users could have their accounts suspended, locked or deleted if they post links to their profiles on other social media sites, including Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram, as well as Mastodon and Donald Trump’s Truth Social.
When he took charge, Musk promised to improve Twitter, ridding it of fake accounts and improving free speech.
But it has lost many of its major advertisers, as concern grows about its direction – and about its ability to pay interest on the $13bn debt Musk took on to buy it.
On Saturday Reuters news agency revealed that Musk’s team had asked investors for more funding, just days after selling another $3.6bn of Tesla shares – meaning he has sold nearly $40bn of shares in his electric vehicle company this year.