Elon Musk Asked If He Should Step Down As Twitter CEO & Here's Why 17M Votes Don't Matter

"Be careful what you wish," he tweeted.

Elon Musk.
Senior Editor

Elon Musk.

More than 17.5 million Twitter users have told Elon Musk exactly what they think of his time as boss of the site, and the results are pretty clear: they want him gone.

Musk, who took over the social media company less than two months ago, offered to "step down as head of Twitter" in a poll posted on Sunday night if users decided that was the way he should go.

"I will abide by the results of this poll," he wrote.

The poll lasted 12 hours and ended with 57.5% of respondents, just over 10 million users, saying that Musk needs to go.

It's only the latest bit of drama to surround Musk and his new toy, which he bought for roughly $44 billion in late October.

Musk has basically cut half of Twitter's staff, rolled out a chaotic subscription fee, allowed many banned far-right users to return to the platform, banned critical journalists and comedians, made up policy on the fly and silenced a guy who tracked his jet using publicly available data, all while declaring himself a champion of "free speech."

Most recently, he banned users from linking out to their other social media accounts, prompting a new wave of angry tweets about the Elon era.

However, his promise to step down if the people want it is likely a red herring, as some were quick to point out.

Musk told a judge last month that it's always been his plan to step aside as CEO of Twitter.

"I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time," the billionaire said in a Delaware courtroom in mid-November, per the Associated Press.

In other words, Musk was always going to find someone else to run the platform. It's unclear if this latest poll is a hint that he's found that someone, or if it's just a setup for eventually hiring a replacement.

Musk did say in a reply that "no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive," and that "there is no successor" to take his place.

Whatever the reason, Musk clearly needs someone to turn things around for him. His net worth has fallen by more than $100 billion this year, and he's reportedly asking around to get people to buy back into Twitter at the original share price he bought it for. Meanwhile, he's been selling off large chunks of his Tesla stock, even as that company's value has plummeted.

All of that has amounted to Musk losing his title as the richest man in the world this year.

Musk tweeted a few messages that could easily apply to his chaotic Twitter tenure on Sunday night. He tweeted these in between another of his gotcha-style "Twitter files" threads, so it's unclear if he was showing self-awareness or referring to something else.

"Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it," he wrote.

He also seemed to respond to those who wanted him out: "As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it."

Josh Elliott
Senior Editor
Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Food & Drink and Lifestyle teams with a focus on entertainment interviews. He is based in Toronto, Ontario.