(San Francisco) After a long moment of silence, then blowing hot and cold on the follow-up he intended to give to the poll he had launched himself, Elon Musk finally announced on Tuesday that he would withdraw from the head of Twitter as soon as he “found someone crazy enough” to succeed him.
After several weeks of tension and procrastination over the future of the social network since its takeover for 44 billion US dollars, Elon Musk asked Twitter users on Monday whether or not he should leave the head of the platform.
A practice that is not unusual for the new owner, who has already used it on several occasions, in particular concerning the reactivation of the account of former US President Donald Trump, as well as other suspended users.
Each time, the billionaire pledged to respect the result of the survey he launched, most often with results that went in the direction he was considering.
But this time, 57% of the approximately 17 million platform users who voted said they were in favor of his departure.
Back late Monday afternoon in the United States, from Doha, where he had attended the final of the Football World Cup on Sunday, Elon Musk had initially remained silent, before reacting to tweets leaving hear that the poll result was the result of a conspiracy and then an army of software robots (bots) distorted the result.
At the start of the day on Tuesday, the boss of Twitter had retweeted the result of an opinion poll carried out by the HarrisX institute, with its own sample of users of the platform, and which gave 61% of those questioned in favor. of his retention as Chief Executive Officer.
“Interesting, this seems to suggest that we do have a slight problem with bots on Twitter “, had then reacted the owner of the platform in response to the tweet of the institute presenting the results, seeming then to consider remaining at the head of the social network.
He also said that any new polls would be restricted to paying Twitter users.
“On the fast track to bankruptcy”
And when several American media have on their side assured that he had actually started looking for a replacement even before the launch of his survey, citing anonymous sources, the billionaire had reacted with a simple mocking emoticon on his platform.
Yet these rumors and the poll result appeared to be initially approved by investors, Tesla’s stock was even on the rise amid growing criticism of Mr. Musk’s attention to towards Twitter since its takeover, to the detriment of the automaker.
Conversely, signs of refusal to leave the head of the social network had been badly received: Tesla’s share price ended Tuesday’s session down more than 8%, before the announcement of a future departure. In three months, the title of the manufacturer has lost nearly 55% of its value on Wall Street, and more than 33% since the takeover of Twitter.
In post-closing trading on Wall Street, the stock rose 0.92% to $139.07.
And the social network is not doing much better: in eight weeks, the company has seen a certain number of advertisers withdraw in the face of the risk represented for brands by the billionaire’s desire to reduce content moderation there.
The group would even be “on the fast track to bankruptcy”, assured Mr. Musk in a message.
Since the takeover at the end of October, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX has sparked many controversies by laying off half of Twitter’s workforce, reinstating suspended accounts, suspending those of journalists and seeking to launch a new paid subscription.
Last week, Elon Musk deleted and then restored the accounts of several American journalists from CNN, from New York Times and washington postin particular, causing the European Union and the UN to react.
On Sunday, it was the new rules, providing that it was now impossible to publish a link to a competing network, such as Facebook, Instagram or Mastodon, which aroused the misunderstanding of users, including Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former boss of Twitter .
After some accounts were suspended under the new rule, including that of investor Paul Graham, Musk qualified his decision, limiting the suspension to accounts whose “primary purpose” is promoting competitors.