Elon Musk says he’ll probably step down as the CEO of Twitter after he finds someone to take the role by the end of 2023. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
Musk was appointed CEO of Twitter in October 2022 after he purchased the company. A Twitter poll asking for his opinion on whether he should step down was held in December. The poll resulted in 57.5% saying that he should allow someone to run the company, much to the surprise of many. Anecdotally, it seems even Musk’s biggest backers think he should put more focus into his other companies, including Tesla and SpaceX.
However, the topic has kinda vanished over the past few months with Musk making headlines in different ways. This was until Musk was asked when he would step down during a conference Wednesday.
“I need to stabilize the organization and just make sure it’s in a financially healthy place and the product road map is clearly laid out,” Musk said via video chat at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
“I’m guessing toward the end of this year should be a good timing to find someone else to run the company. I think it should be in stable condition around the end of this year,” Musk continued.
The problem with this response, of course, is that it’s anything but definitive. Musk has previously made definitive statements that he couldn’t even keep his promises on, including everything from when he’d put a person on Mars to when the Cybertruck would be released. As I speculated at the time of Musk’s big Cybertruck announcement, we might see flying cars before we see the Cybertruck.
But when Musk says something like “I’m guessing…” you can bet that whatever he says after that is not going to happen.
Twitter has become an obsession for Musk lately, with several reports indicating it’s taking up a huge amount of the billionaire’s time. Musk recently unblocked everyone he’d ever blocked on Twitter, including me, a move that has led some people to speculate he could do away with the blocking feature altogether. But the most recent drama involves Musk’s apparent anger that he got less engagement on the platform than President Joe Biden during the Super Bowl.
According to a report from tech Substack Platformer, Musk was upset with Biden’s roughly 29 million impressions for his Philadelphia Eagles tweet compared with just 9 million impressions for Musk’s tweet about the Eagles. Musk, who was at the game, even flew back to Twitter headquarters in San Francisco asking why he didn’t get more engagement than the president. Twitter engineers had a quick solution that made sure Musk received all of the attention.
“By Monday afternoon, ‘the problem’ had been ‘fixed.’ Twitter deployed code to automatically ‘greenlight’ all of Musk’s tweets, meaning his tweets will bypass Twitter’s filters designed to show people the best content possible,” Platformer reported.
“The algorithm now artificially boosted Musk’s tweets by a factor of 1,000—a constant score that ensured his tweets rank higher than anyone else’s in the feed,” the publication continued.
The algorithm is still being adjusted, according to Platformer, so that Musk doesn’t completely dominate every single conversation that users see on the site, but the goal is still obvious. Musk needs validation from the users on Twitter and it’s the primary reason he bought the platform.
There were many theories that Musk may have tried to pass the 2022 midterm elections on the Republicans’ side when he purchased Twitter. These conspiracy theories are now over. Musk is dependent on Twitter for the validation and love he craves from his millions of followers, despite his latest missteps and constant theft of tweets. It’s really not more complicated than that. And he’s going to remain CEO until he feels satisfied that he’s had enough.