Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday night that he would resign as the CEO of Twitter... if he could find someone “foolish enough” to be his successor.
The ex-richest man in the world wrote, “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 and servers teams.”
Two days before, the Tesla CEO owned himself in spectacular fashion when he tweeted out a poll asking, “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.” During the poll’s 24-hour voting window, the “No” votes were ahead at times, but, in the end, the “Yes” votes won out, 57.5% to 42.5%. The next day, he said he would change Twitter’s rules so that only subscribers to the social network’s premium service, Twitter Blue, would be able to vote in polls that would determine policies, which might invalidate Sunday’s poll.
Whom the SpaceX CEO might pick as the next chief twit remains a mystery, as he has distanced himself from even those who worked closely with him on the deal like his personal lawyer Alex Spiro and the venture capitalist Jason Calacanis. Twitter has had five CEOs since its founding in 2006. Jack Dorsey has served as CEO twice.
Musk’s tenure short tenure as Twitter CEO has been marked by chaos. Twitter employees are sleeping at the office to measure up to Musk’s demands they be “hardcore.” Several friendly journalists have leaked internal Twitter documents related to Twitter’s controversies of years past. Musk’s staff is reinstating overt white nationalists and placing ads on their profiles to the chagrin of brands. Donald Trump is back, too, but he’s not tweeting. Musk banned journalists who reported critically on him last week.
Musk’s announcement comes as the turmoil of Twitter has infected the greatest source of his wealth, Tesla. Advertisers are fleeing Twitter, and Musk has laid off at least half the staff of the social network, which has hobbled the product and saddled the company with lawsuits. Power users are decamping for less popular alternatives like Mastodon. Tesla’s stock, meanwhile, has tumbled to a two-year low, and major investors and former fanboys alike are calling for the board of directors to appoint a new CEO of the electric carmaker. Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion and took it over in October after months of attempting to wriggle out of the deal.