After a long wait, Elon Musk at last responded to a poll on Tuesday, saying he will step down as Twitter chief executive after finding a replacement who should be “foolish enough”.
“I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!” he said but added that he would just run the teams concerning software and servers.
However, Musk’s statement needs attention as he still wants to lead the software and servers teams, meaning that he will remain involved in policy matters and day-to-day affairs.
And finding a suitable replacement means the current tenure can last as long as he wishes because the choice is still in his hands. So he can claim even after months or a year that he hasn’t found any person for the slot.
Earlier this week, he used a laughing emoji to ridicule a report he was in search of someone to take over as boss of Twitter, and tweeted that “no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive”.
This is the first time Musk has mentioned leaving the role as chief of the social media platform, since Twitter users voted decisively in a poll for him to step down, which the billionaire launched on Sunday evening.
But it is not the first time he has said he will not run the company in the long term. In November, the second-richest person in the world told a court in Delaware that he would reduce his time at Twitter and eventually find someone to run it in his place.
Calls on Wall Street for Musk to step down had been growing for weeks and recently even Tesla investors have questioned whether his focus on the social media platform is distracting him from properly steering the electric vehicle business.
Musk admitted in the Delaware court hearing he had too much on his plate. He said on Sunday, though, that there was no successor and that “no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive”.
Prior to Tuesday’s tweet, Musk’s only response to the poll was to tweet claims that the results had been skewed by fake accounts. He also responded to a tweet suggesting only users who were paying $8 or US$11 (for iOS subscribers) for a Twitter Blue subscription should be able to vote in the polls by saying that Twitter would “make that change”.
The poll calling for Musk to stand down followed a series of highly criticised decisions by Twitter’s new owner. He first banned an account that tracked the location of his private jet, and followed it up with a mass suspension of critical journalists who reported on the ban.
After users responded by announcing plans to leave to other platforms Musk implemented a new policy banning all links to other social networks, including Mastodon, Instagram and Facebook.
The change was made during the FIFA World Cup final in Qatar, where Musk was spotted in attendance with former US president Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. By the end of the day, the policy had been abandoned, with Musk saying all major policy changes in the future would be decided by a vote.
Tesla shares down 8%
Musk is now busy in blaming the macroeconomic factors as shares in Tesla sank to a new 52-week low on Tuesday, closing around $138 per share which was 8 percent lower for the day.
In an attempt to divert attention from his antics and policies, especially those related to the Twitter, the Tesla CEO used Twitter to convey his thoughts.
The latest decline in Tesla share price comes a day after the Oppenheimer & Co downgraded its rating.
“Tesla stock price now reflects the value of having no CEO,” Long-time Tesla bull Ross Gerber wrote in a tweet. He mocked the Tesla Board of Directors called for a shakeup, which triggered a reply from Musk.
Tesla’s stock has dropped more than other larger automakers since Musk announced his plans to buy Twitter in Apr 2022. Since that date, Tesla shares are down 59 percent against 26 percent for Ford and 12 percent for GM.
Reduced share in market
Last month, it was projected that the Tesla share in the US market share will have be less than 20 percent by 2025 with the introduction of cheaper models by the rivals.
Moreover, the number of EV (electric vehicle) models currently stands at 48 but it would be 159 by 2025.
According to report a prepared by S&P Global Mobility, Tesla’s share of new registered electric vehicles in the US stood at 65 percent in the third quarter, representing down from 71 percent last year and 79 percent in 2020.
It said Tesla no more enjoys a monopoly as fully electric models with equal or better technology are now available in a price range below $50,000. Its entry-level Model 3 starts at about $48,200 with shipping fees, but the vehicles typically retail for higher prices with options.
“Given that consumer choice and consumer interest in EVs are growing, Tesla’s ability to retain a dominant market share will be challenged going forward,” the report says.