Will Elon Musk honour his own Twitter poll and step down as chief executive?

More than 17.5m votes cast on Twitter poll, with 57% telling the controversial boss it is time to go

Is Elon Musk about to step down as chief executive of Twitter? If he goes by his own Twitter poll — which he pledged to do — it should only be a matter of time before the billionaire owner hands over the reins to someone else.

More than 17½ million votes were cast on the poll, with 57 per cent telling Musk it was time to go. But exactly who could take over is the important question. Having cleared out Twitter’s executive ranks and purged many of the experienced people with increasingly ludicrous demands in the weeks following his takeover of the company, there isn’t an obvious successor to the man who would be social media king.

And who would want it? To say the past few weeks at the social media platform have been chaotic would be an understatement. Changes have been implemented at dizzying speed, and just as quickly reversed. Twitter Blue was launched, paused, relaunched, paused again and rolled out at a higher price in the past few weeks. A number of high-profile journalists who have been critical of Musk were suspended, before being reinstated. Twitter Support announced in a now-deleted series of tweets that accounts promoting alternative platforms would no longer be allowed, along with tweets directing people to alternative platforms. The idea of Musk as a free-speech absolutist appears to have been abandoned.

Post office quarrels; drug dealing affects city-centre businesses

Listen | 42:52

Fans of the billionaire were quick to row in behind him, heaping praise on Musk for the move, before just as quickly praising him for reversing the decision. There are more stretches on Twitter these days in defence of Musk than any Silicon Valley hot yoga class.


Musk may have plenty of obsequious followers to stroke his ego and tell the billionaire what a great job he is doing, but whether that extends to his investors and advertisers, who are expected to bankroll this project, is not clear.

Regardless, even if Musk keeps to his word and steps away, his handpicked replacement is likely to stick to the billionaire’s “vision” for Twitter — whatever that is.