The billionaire and self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” bought the company for $44 billion in October and made himself CEO. Since then, it’s become a frequent topic of his tweets, and employees say he’s been a regular presence at the company’s San Francisco headquarters.
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But that has raised concerns among investors, particularly Tesla, that the entrepreneur is being stretched too thin. Some have questioned his effectiveness as CEO of two major tech companies, wondering if he can effectively hold both positions at the same time, in addition to being head of rocket company SpaceX.
Adding fuel to the fire, Musk has been known to take polls confirming decisions he’s already made, perhaps most famously when he asked Twitter if he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stake. Later, filings revealed that Musk had already agreed to a commercial plan, at least partially casting doubt on the request.
Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday evening.
Musk made a series of changes on Twitter, where he said a top priority was fixing the company’s code. He dismissed approximately half of the company’s 7,500 employees and presented an ultimatum. hard-core culture that led hundreds to leave and change Twitter’s rules immediately and based on polls, including reinstatement of former President Donald Trump.
It’s not immediately clear how much will change if Musk steps down as CEO, given that he will still own the company along with his co-investors.
Musk had previously announced that he was not going to remain the head of Twitter for a long time. Last month, he testified in a Delaware court that he planned to find someone else to run Twitter and reduce his time at the company. He came out in response to a Tesla shareholder lawsuit that alleged he was overpaid for his work in the automaker’s 2018 compensation package while he split his time between several other companies.
The unscientific and unrepresentative poll on Musk’s leadership comes after a tumultuous week for Musk. Tesla’s share price fell nearly 15 percent last week, capping a dismal performance of the past few months, as some investors called on him to step down from the leadership of one of his companies to better focus.
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On Wednesday, Musk unexpectedly suspended the account tracking his private jet, based on publicly available data. He followed that up the next day by firing the reporters who apparently wrote about it, accusing them of putting up “basically assassination coordinates” for him and his family. Musk held a poll Thursday in which users voted to reinstate the bans.
On Sunday, as Musk tweeted from the World Cup finals, watching alongside former Trump adviser Jared Kushner, Twitter adopted new rules barring users from repeatedly promoting rival social networks on the site, calling it “free promotion” against the rules. A group of users, including some Musk supporters, dismissed the new policy as draconian, despite Musk’s pledge to restore what he called “freedom of speech” on the site.
Musk’s new policy also bans promotion on Facebook, Instagram and the Truth Social app, which Trump co-founded.
Musk issued a rare apology on Sunday after Twitter adopted new rules barring users from repeatedly promoting rival social networks on the site, saying he would put future policy decisions to a vote.
Later that night, @TwitterSafety tweeted a poll asking:
Tweets and pages outlining the new policy banning content from external networks also appear to have been deleted.
Musk’s questioning of his leadership was due to end early Monday before trading opened on Wall Street, where Tesla has lost half of its more than $1 trillion in value since the spring.
Elon Musk’s role at Tesla is being called into question as Twitter catches his attention
“Those who want power are the least likely to like it,” Musk tweeted late Sunday after millions of users had voted and the poll was trending toward him leaving.