Elon Musk can’t handle the mess at Twitter and his ego is not allowing him to let go in a dignified manner.
When Elon Musk ran a Twitter poll asking whether or not he should step down as Twitter CEO, he didn’t have a successor in mind. After the majority of the votes favored his resignation, he tried to blame the results on an “itsy bitsy bot problem on Twitter” and floated the idea that only paying Twitter Blue subscribers should be able to vote on such polls. Still, he indicated he plans to honor the results.
On his own poll, he replied, “When I find someone foolish enough to accept the CEO position, I will step down immediately! After that, I’ll just be managing the software and server teams.”
Musk’s dramatic kitchen sink entry and everything that followed after—disorderly mass firing, an executive exodus, advertisers pulling out, bringing Tesla engineers to Twitter’s headquarters, the controversial relaunch of the blue tick as a subscription feature, policy changes on a whim, a blame game-style attempt at transparency with Twitter Files, scrapping of advisors, and more—have done more harm than good at Twitter. The platform is not any closer to morphing into Musk’s vision for super-app X.
Finding a successor was likely in the plan long-term. Musk does not harbor dreams of being CEO of any of his companies and prefers to focus on the technology side of things, he said in court in November.
But instead of admitting another leader may be better suited to take over and fix things at Twitter, and simply sharing a job profile for it, Musk keeps making the job sound unappealing.
Piecing together Musk’s tweets, here’s what it takes to be the next person to take the top job at Twitter:
🤪 Be “foolish”
💸 Be “willing to invest your own life savings in Twitter because it has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May.”
😈 Do a “thankless job” while enduring hate and trolling
🧑✈️ Head a company “which is like a plane that [is] headed straight to the ground with its engines on fire”
🐦 And of course, be able to get along and handle the pressure from the company’s owner.
There are perks, too:
🛌 There’s no commute. Sleep at Twitter’s San Francisco office to milk long working hours.
Firing people is easy. Just lock them out of the system before they even know layoffs are coming.
✍️ Minimum accountability. Important emails can simply be signed with a cold, vague, and impersonal “Twitter” rather than your name.
On Dec. 19, rapper Snoop Dogg ran a poll asking if he should run Twitter. More than 80% of the almost 3.4 million respondents voted “yes.”
Back on Nov. 13, when T-Mobile president John Legere had made a more serious offer of running Twitter’s day-to-day operations, Musk said “No.” When MIT scientist Lex Friedman offered to do the job for free, he didn’t explicitly turn him down but laid bare the job’s pitfalls.
Musk hasn’t responded to or commented on Snoop Dogg’s presumably tongue-in-cheek proposal yet.
90%: Share of Twitter’s revenue that came from advertising last year
$13 billion: Debt Twitter took on to partly finance Musk’s $44 billion buy
$4 million: Twitter’s daily losses in early November
$1 billion: The cash Twitter has left, Musk said during a Twitter Spaces audio chat yesterday (Dec. 20)
32 million: Users Twitter will lose by 2024; the most in the US at 8 million, according to Insider Intelligence
560: Followers the average Twitter Blue account has. Some adult entertainment accounts have millions, though