Will Elon Musk keep his word and leave the direction of Twitter? It would be in the order of things: the unpredictable billionaire promised on Sunday night to respect the verdict of an online poll that he launched at his own expense, asking his 122 million followers to decide on his future at the head of the social network. ” Should I leave the management of Twitter? I will obey the result of this poll,” he said. More than 17.5 million accounts participated in the poll, and 57.5% of them clicked “yes.”
It is a small surprise: the controversial new boss of the blue bird had been widely supported by his fans for his other polls, the embodiment of Muskie populism, a parody of democracy without any method. But this time the system forced itself against him. ” Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it “, he even warned a few hours before the end of the polls, 56-44 against him. Before two hours later: ” Those who want power are those who least deserve it “. What’s he going to do? Since the final results dropped Monday morning, Elon Musk has been wallowing in silence.
Elon Musk’s disastrous show at the helm of Twitter
In addition to the ego blow of losing this poll, keeping Elon Musk at the helm of Twitter has become increasingly serious in recent days as the billionaire looks to drive the social network into the wall by chaining the irrational decisions, dangerous for democracy (banning journalists, reinstating thousands of accounts previously banned for inciting hatred, banning speaking on the platform of competing social networks, etc.) and damaging in terms of image, especially for advertisers who have abandoned the platform in droves when 90% of its revenue depends on it.
But the real threat to him may come not from the travesty of democracy that is the poll, but from investors in his other company, Tesla. Since October 30, when he joined Twitter, Elon Musk has damaged the social network so much – more than 10,000 layoffs out of a workforce of 12,500, spectacular failure at the launch of the Twitter Blue subscription in early November – that his own reputation as a visionary entrepreneur has taken a serious hit. With his anti-Democrats, his support of the conspiratorial/specialist sphere, his right-wing display – especially with Donald Trump’s nephew in Qatar during the World Cup final – and the lack of clarity in his economic vision for Twitter, Elon Musk has undermined the economic circle’s perception of his ability to manage companies in general.
Inevitably, the disastrous spectacle of a free-wheeling Elon Musk at the head of Twitter sets fire to the gunpowder at Tesla, of which he is also the boss. A phantom boss as he seems obsessed with the social network so he sleeps there and spends hours every day reading and reacting to what he says there.
Quit Twitter so as not to lose Tesla?
Through his actions on Twitter, Elon Musk has politicized Tesla’s image, to the point where globally it is now negative among all categories of American adults. According to the Morning Consult Institute, Democrats, who had an excellent view of Tesla in January, now have a predominantly negative view. Conversely, a majority of Republicans disliked Tesla in January — an electric vehicle brand perceived as expensive and urbane. And if the company has won many supporters in this camp since taking over Twitter, they are not enough to turn the tide on the side of all Republican adults. In other words, Tesla is now mostly not valued by anyone. A real reputational damage attributable to Elon Musk, who becomes a weight for Tesla almost as much as for Twitter.
The carmaker’s shareholders are storming, as Elon Musk’s setback also worsens his stock market decline. The value of Tesla stock has lost 60% since April, much more than the Nasdaq (-11%). However, more than half of this decline has occurred since the beginning of November, clearly showing that the macroeconomic context is not solely responsible. The company is still worth around $500 billion, but it’s a far cry from the more than $1.2 billion at the start of the year… Above all, Musk himself contributed to the decline by selling 3.5 billion Tesla shares last . week, adding to the $3.9 billion worth of shares it had sold in early November for the Twitter takeover. Musk himself lost half of his personal fortune by 2022 (from $160 billion to $80 billion), falling behind Frenchman Bernard Arnault, head of the LVMH empire.
Some Tesla investors are now openly asking Elon Musk to step down from the leadership of Twitter to refocus on his true industrial gem. ” Wake up, Tesla board! What is the plan? Who is driving Tesla and when will Elon return? tweeted investor Ross Gerber while lamenting that Elon Musk ” destroyed more than $600 billion in valuation “without provoking a reaction from the board that he considers” unacceptable “.
More seriously, the third investor in Tesla, Over the weekend, KoGuan Leo accused Elon Musk of jumping ship and is calling for a new CEO. ” Elon has left Tesla, and Tesla no longer has a boss in place. Tesla needs and deserves a full-time CEO “, he declared.
Elon Musk looking for investors and a new CEO for Twitter?
Faced with the start of the rebellion at Tesla, Elon Musk was in Qatar this weekend. He attended, along with Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the final of the FIFA World Cup lost by France against Argentina. But above all, he would have met investors, according to certain American media.
According to the financial media Semafor, several investors have been contacted by Jared Birchall, the asset manager of Elon Musk. The goal: by the end of the year to raise several billion dollars by issuing new Twitter shares, which would be offered to investors for a sum of $54.20 per share. stock – the vastly overstated price paid by Elon Musk.
As for the management of Twitter, Elon Musk has never said that the position was long-term for him. On the contrary, in mid-November, during a hearing with a Delaware judge in a lawsuit filed by a Tesla investor, Musk reaffirmed his goal of ” reduce your time on Twitter and find someone else to run it sustainably “. But he may have to give up his seat sooner than he expected, and more importantly, long before he gets Twitter back on track, which was his goal. Unless he ignores both the will of “the people” at Twitter and Tesla shareholders , in a final tour de force with unpredictable consequences.