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Elon's Twitter poll: what’s next after the platform votes him out?
Finding a replacement will be a challenge now
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Get out the vote
☑ Elon Musk asks Twitter: should I step down? Users say yes
⏳ Musk will pick his successor – but it may take time
🤔 Whoever runs it, Musk will still make important choices about Twitter
🚀 Tesla, SpaceX and Musk’s other companies will likely benefit
I won’t call it the greatest show on earth, but I’m certain there’s some penultimate adjective that applies to Elon Musk’s tumultuous reign over Twitter, which he bought, incredibly, only a little over a month ago. That turbulence continued over the weekend, as Musk decided to post his most potentially impactful poll yet.
As we reported yesterday, following a chaotic series of events, Twitter’s boss asked a simple question: “Should I step down from Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.” Sunday Twitter slotted into the affirmative column, with only 42% of respondents saying he should continue to lead.
Assuming Musk remains true to his word – and that’s not always the case – Twitter is in for yet another big change. So what happens next?
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Musk gets to choose
As the sole owner of Twitter, Musk has the final say on his replacement – if he even chooses one. Responding to one Twitter user, Musk implied there is nobody to give the job to:
That reply coupled with the vaguely menacing tone of a tweet he published just a few minutes prior, makes one wonder if Musk really intends to step down without putting anyone in his place.
Even so, it seems unlikely he’ll leave the network unhelmed. Who he might have in mind, if anyone, at this point is a mystery. One thing is likely though: it will take time. Twitter hasn’t been the most desirable company to own and run, and even Musk himself tried to cancel his bid to buy it.
Now, with advertisers having largely fled the service and Twitter’s ad business down as a result, whoever takes the reins from Musk will have a monumental challenge in front of them, making the pool of potential successors likely minuscule.
It’s still Musk’s network
Whatever happens next, barring other major changes, Musk will continue to own the beleaguered social network. He would still have massive influence over the future direction of Twitter, and would likely still dictate major policy changes. He would also be able to remove any new CEO he thought wasn’t fulfilling their role adequately.
In short, this may not change much about the platform’s overall trajectory, and may not even keep the platform from occasionally making the sorts of abrupt, reactionary policy changes we’ve seen over the last few weeks.
But it’s long been speculated that Musk would hand the job off to someone new after a short period as Twitter’s leader, and he’s even said as much. Doing so with this poll may just be his way of adding some drama to that process.
His other companies could benefit
When the billionaire acquired Twitter, he added a third concurrent CEO credit to his résumé, in addition to SpaceX and Tesla. The social network, of which he’s long been a member, has seemed to consume his attention ever since, as he not only made constant changes to it, but also pulled over talent from his electric car business to work on it.
Tesla, the only public company of the three, saw some furtive gains in early Monday morning trading, though trading has been volatile and, as of this writing, shares have fallen nearly to their Friday level again – we’ll have to wait and see what happens the rest of the day.
It’s not just about stocks, though. Both companies can only stand to benefit from having their CEO’s attention limited to their stewardship going forward.