Musk says he will find new Twitter CEO but keep control of key divisions

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File
Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2020.

Elon Musk said he would step down from the CEO role at Twitter – just as soon as he finds someone else “foolish enough to take the job.”

Still, Musk plans to keep control of the software and servers teams at the social media company, key areas that will allow him to control product decisions.

Musk tweeted his decision Tuesday night in response to an unscientific and unrepresentative poll he launched two days ago, which asked users if he should step down as head of the company. More than 10 million people, or 57.5 percent of respondents, voted he should leave the position.

Musk had said he would abide by the results of the informal poll.

The move comes after the entrepreneur, who also leads Tesla and SpaceX, took control of the social media company in October in a $44 billion deal. Musk had previously indicated that he didn’t intend to remain in Twitter’s top spot for the long term.

Musk didn’t directly respond to the results of the poll for more than a day after it closed, but did react to several tweets that suggested the poll could have been infiltrated by bots, or that suggested it wasn’t a representative sample of what people wanted.

His tepid response to the poll Tuesday night leaves the door open to him never resigning, or embarking on a lengthy search process.

“Accurate assessment!” Musk responded to a tweet that asked why “offering to take over that thankless job” would make people upset.

Musk’s time leading Twitter has been marked by upheaval and occasionally chaos – the billionaire laid off thousands of employees, disbanded an outside group that oversaw online safety and reinstated prominent suspended accounts, including the one belonging to former president Donald Trump.

Musk’s moves have been controversial with many Twitter users and advertisers, risking the company’s major source of revenue. But others had cheered his free-speech agenda and urged Musk to stay on as CEO.

The billionaire will likely stay closely involved with Twitter as its owner. But some Tesla investors had urged Musk to step aside from the social media company to focus his energies on the electric car company, which has been struggling on the stock market.