By Jon Porter, a reporter with five years of experience covering consumer tech releases, EU tech policy, online platforms, and mechanical keyboards.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk says he might be ready to step down as head of the social media network by the end of the 2023, by which time it’ll be a year since millions of Twitter users voted for him resign from the role — a poll Musk said he’d honor.
“I need to stabilize the organization and just make sure it’s in a financially healthy place in that the product roadmap is clearly laid out,” Musk said via video link at the World Government Summit in Dubai, as reported by Bloomberg. “I’m guessing probably towards the end of the year would be good timing to find someone else to run the company.”
“I think it should be in a stable position around the end of this year,” Musk said. He didn’t offer any indication of who could be in line to take the role, but following the interview posted a joke photo of his dog Floki sitting at a desk with the caption “The new CEO of Twitter is amazing.” Various publications including Bloomberg and CNBC have reported that a CEO hunt has been underway in recent months, but potential candidates remain elusive (here are our informed guesses).
Since conducting a poll on stepping down as Twitter CEO in December, Musk has not previously offered any concrete indication on exactly when he might do so, noting only that he planned to leave the role after he found “someone foolish enough to take the job.” He has said he plans to continue to run Twitter’s software and servers teams after resigning the CEO position.
Musk has served as CEO after acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in late October. His tenure has often been erratic, marked by massive rounds of layoffs at the company, surprise rollouts of new policies, including one major change that was almost immediately reversed, and a “massive” drop in advertiser revenue. Most recently, Musk has reportedly been fixated on the popularity of his own posts, apparently firing an engineer who tried to explain why his tweet impressions were declining. All the while the share price of Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, has fallen from a high of almost $400 per share last April to a little over $200 today.
Despite Musk’s comments about potentially leaving his CEO position by year end, he has a well documented habit of misestimating future plans. The Tesla Cybertruck will now enter production in 2024, over two years later than the original late 2021 date given during its 2019 launch. Musk also previously said that a Tesla should be able to drive itself across the country by the end of 2017. Half a decade later, the feat is yet to be achieved.
The World Government Summit also covered Musk’s plans for Twitter more generally, including his ambitions to reduce misinformation on the platform. You can watch the whole interview below, or skip ahead to Musk’s response about stepping down as CEO, which starts at around the 15 minute mark.
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