Updated at 6:34 AM EST
Musk asked his 122.1 million Twitter followers late Sunday whether he should step down as CEO of the microblogging website, promising to abide by the poll results — though he said there was no succession plan and warned voters to “be careful what you wish for”.
Voting suggests around 57.5% of the 17.5 million ‘votes’ cast wants Musk to hand over control of the group to someone else. Musk closed his $44 billion purchase of Twitter at the end of October and has since been active on both the platform and at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, where he led a controversial series of firings, content rules and suspensions, including several high-profile journalists whose he charged with tracking and reporting his location through the movements of his private jet.
Tesla shareholders, meanwhile, have grown increasingly impatient with Musk’s distractions — as well as his unannounced stock sales — amid the largest-ever peak-to-trough decline for the clean energy automaker.
Over the weekend, Leo KoGuan, a Singapore-based billionaire and one of the largest single investors in Tesla, renewed his call for Musk to step down as CEO of Twitter after accusing him of “leaving” the clean-energy automaker after his $44 billion purchase of the microblogging website earlier this fall.
“As his fanboy, I invested in Elon. Of course I prefer Elon to be CEO, but he let Tesla down” To be clear (Tesla investor and Musk supporter Gary Black), I wish Elon quickly finds Twitter’s new CEO Gary and I want Elon to be full-time CEO and Technoking of Tesla,” said KoGuan.
Tesla shares were marked up 4.7% in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $157.31 apiece, a move that would still send the stock down about 34% for six months.
Short-term interest in Tesla stock also remains strong, with bets around the group hovering around $11.9 billion according to recent data from S3 Partners, a figure that represents about 2.65% of the group’s outstanding shares.
Last week, Musk revealed that he had sold an additional 22 million Tesla shares, raising about $3.6 billion and bringing his sales total for the current year to about $40 billion.
“The Twitter nightmare continues as Musk uses Tesla as his own ATM to continue funding the red ink on Twitter, which is getting worse by the day as more advertisers flee the platform with growing controversy driven by Musk,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.. “When does it end?
This remains the concern in the Tesla story as Musk has managed to shift Tesla’s narrative from the fundamental EV transformation narrative to a ‘well of funds’ funding the Twitter turnaround, which we believe is the most overpaid technology acquisition in the future will become history of mergers and acquisitions and will continue to be a trainwreck,” he added.