That poll Elon Musk posted on Twitter on Sunday night? Questions about whether he should stay on as CEO of Twitter or appoint someone else? The one where he said he would “stick to the results” however it turned out? The one where almost 58 percent of the participants said yes, please resign already?
It was probably largely pointless. According to CNBC’s David Faber, whose reporting is pretty reliable on this sort of thing, Musk was already actively looking for a replacement before posting the poll. In fact, that search has been ‘ongoing’, writes Faber. How continuously? Faber isn’t saying so, but Musk hasn’t exactly been shy about describing his tenure at Twitter as only temporary.
Musk hasn’t exactly been shy about describing his tenure at Twitter as only temporary
Earlier this year, shortly after making his initial offer for the company and before he wavered and tried to get out of the deal, Musk reportedly disclosed to investors that he expected to serve as CEO of Twitter for only a short period of time. . (This was also based on Faber’s reporting, for what it’s worth.)
And more recently, at trial for a lawsuit disputing his pay package at Tesla, he testified that he didn’t really enjoy being the CEO of any company, let alone Twitter. “Frankly, I don’t want to be the CEO of any company,” he said under oath. He went on to explain why he is annoyed by the title of CEO at his various companies, noting that he doesn’t see his role as a traditional CEO.
Of course, Musk is under increasing pressure from prominent Tesla investors to name a Twitter successor and rededicate himself to the electric car company that has been the main driver of his success. Tesla’s share price has fallen furthereven as Musk has been actively talking about finding a replacement, suggesting he and his investors will be hurt more in the future.
Still, Musk is probably inclined to trick Twitter users into thinking they have something to say in the process because he essentially wants people to like him. And convincing them that their vote matters in a corporate decision that was probably made long before @ModelS3XYBoi or anyone else voted in the poll is part of that illusion. It’s how he’s also led Tesla, responding to users’ complaints and suggestions on Twitter and turning them into real features in his electric vehicles.
So the poll may just be affectionate, but the CEO search probably isn’t. Because wow, it sounds like things are going really bad! “No one wants the job that can really keep Twitter alive,” he tweeted Sunday night, shortly after posting the poll. “There is no successor.”