Elon Musk has never announced his intention to lead Twitter forever. Investors were told he would run the company for three to six months, rather than just six weeks after becoming an owner.
At the same time, Elon Musk is the majority shareholder of Twitter. But the $44 billion takeover was partially financed by outside investors, which include venture capital funds, high-net-worth individuals, corporations and sovereign wealth funds.
Last weekend was very turbulent for Twitter, including the suspension of some journalists’ accounts and the blocking of users for mentioning or linking to their accounts on other social networks.
The climax was Musk’s Twitter poll asking if he should step down as head of Twitter. More than 57% of users answered yes.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
But it appears that a successor has yet to be chosen, and it’s unclear whether Musk will step down immediately or use the poll results to launch a CEO search. It’s also worth emphasizing that any new CEO will report to Musk, so the change may be more stylistic than substantive.
All investors knew that Elon Musk was prone to non-linear business decisions, but one group was unpleasantly impressed by the way he publicly attacked Twitter’s advertisers while distracting himself from the controversy with the media. The general consensus among these investors is that Musk has already decided that he has overpaid and thus no longer values their investment as much as he should.
Still, some optimistic investors believe Musk has largely delivered on his promise to cut costs and increase engagement. Short-term pain for long-term gain. One source in that camp adds that while Musk tweeted yesterday that the company had been “on the fast track to bankruptcy since May,” that’s not true. Musk has previously applied this same technique to SpaceX as a rhetorical tool to motivate both himself and others.
Investors Twitter admits that Musk had a very bad weekend, but his past success with SpaceX and Tesla gives confidence that he will eventually get it right.