Musk Polls Twitter to Quit as Chief, Voters Leaning Toward Yes

(Bloomberg) — Elon Musk, under fire for recent policy changes at Twitter Inc., is asking users whether he should step down as head of the social media site.

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With the poll set to end at about 6:20 am in New York, around 57% of the 16 million voters have said yes. The billionaire owner of Twitter and chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. will abide by the results of the poll, he pledged in a Sunday tweet. Three of the top trending topics in the US overnight were about the platform itself, including “VOTE YES” and “CEO of Twitter.”

Musk was in Qatar to watch the World Cup final match between Argentina and France and tweeted out his poll after the game’s conclusion. Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud is the second largest investor in Twitter behind Musk, while the Qatar Investment Authority invested $375 million in the social media platform.

There is no clear replacement at Twitter, with Musk adding in later tweets that “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor,” and “and it has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May.”

Tesla shares gained 4.8% in US premarket trading on Monday. Shares in the carmaker have slumped 57% this year amid concerns the chaotic takeover of Twitter has distracted Musk from the firm that propelled him to the richest person in the world — a title he lost last week to luxury titan Bernard Arnault.

Following his takeover of Twitter, Musk has weathered criticism for his sweeping changes at the social network — such as firing more than half of its staff and bringing back previously barred accounts — as well as calls to refocus on Tesla, whose share price has been plummeting. Since reluctantly completing the Twitter acquisition at the end of October, he has spent much of his time on the social service.

He was posting late into the night Thursday after tangling with journalists, Twitter’s most engaged and active contributors. The company banned a number of them from major publications like the Washington Post and CNN, alleging they were doxxing his location. The move was subject to condemnation from the likes of the American Civil Liberties Union and even the United Nations, who called it a “dangerous precedent.”

Over the weekend, Twitter also announced and withdrew a policy change where by it would bar accounts “created solely” to promote competing social networks. That decision led to the suspension of at least one prominent account, prompting Musk to say he’ll adjust their policy hours after its introduction. The Twitter Safety account later offered a poll on whether it should have the policy on removing accounts promoting other social media platforms.

(Updates with context; an earlier version corrected spelling of Jared Kushner’s name in photo caption)

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