Could Elon Musk lose Twitter so as not to lose Tesla?

Will Elon Musk keep his word and leave the direction of Twitter? It would be in the order of things: the unpredictable billionaire pledged on Sunday evening to respect the verdict of an online poll, which he launched on his own account, 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 survey,” he said. More than 17.5 million accounts took part in the vote, and 57.5% of them clicked “yes”.

It’s a little 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 methodology. But this time the system imposed 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 votes, 56-44 against him. Before tweeting, two hours later: “ Those who want power have it the least “. What is he going to do ? Since the final results fell on Monday morning, Elon Musk has been wallowing in silence.

Elon Musk’s Disastrous Show at the Head of Twitter

Beyond the blow to the ego of losing this poll, keeping Elon Musk at the head of Twitter has become increasingly simplified in recent days, as long as the billionaire seems to be leading the social network into the wall by chaining irrational decisions, dangerous for democracy (banning of journalists, reinstatement of thousands of accounts previously excluded for incitement to hatred, banning of speaking on the platform of competing social networks, etc.) and devastating in terms of image, in particular for advertisers who have deserted the platform en masse when 90% of its turnover depends on it.

But the real threat to him may come not from the parody of democracy that is the poll, but from investors in his other company, Tesla. Since October 30, when he took office at Twitter, Elon Musk has damaged the social network so much – more than 10,000 redeployments out of a workforce of 12,500, spectacular failure of the launch of the Twitter Blue subscription in early November – that his own reputation of visionary entrepreneur into a specifically taken coup. With his outings against the Democrats, his support for the conspiratorial/fachosphere, his display to the right of the right – in particular with Donald Trump’s nephew in Qatar during the World Cup final – and the lack of clarity of his economic vision for Twitter, Elon Musk has degraded the perception of economic circles on his ability to manage businesses in general.

Inevitably, the disastrous spectacle of a freewheeling Elon Musk at the head of Twitter has met with fire at Tesla, of which he is also the boss. A phantom boss as long as he seems obsessed with the social network, to the point of sleeping there and spending hours every day reading and responding to what he says there.

Quit Twitter so as not to lose Tesla?

Through his actions at 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, the Democrats, who had an excellent perception of Tesla in January, now have a mostly negative perception. Conversely, a majority of Republicans did not like Tesla in January – it is an electric vehicle brand perceived as expensive and urban. And if the company has won many supporters in this camp since the takeover of Twitter, it is not enough to reverse the trend on the side of all adult Republicans. In other words, Tesla is now mostly appreciated by no one. A real reputational damage attributable to Elon Musk, who becomes a weight for Tesla almost as much as for Twitter.

The shareholders of the car manufacturer are storming, because the setbacks of Elon Musk also aggravate his stock market fall. The value of Tesla stock has lost 60% since April, much more than the Nasdaq (-11%). But more than half of this drop has taken place since the beginning of November, which clearly shows that the macroeconomic context is not solely responsible. The company is still worth around 500 billion dollars, but it is very far from the more than 1,200 billion dollars at the start of the year… Above all, Musk himself won in the fall by selling for 3.5 billion worth of Tesla stock last week, which comes on top of the $3.9 billion worth of stock it had sold in early November for the Twitter takeover. Musk himself lost half of his personal fortune in 2022 (from $160 billion to $80 billion) and fell behind Frenchman Bernard Arnault, boss of the LVMH empire.

Some Tesla investors are now openly asking Elon Musk to cede management of Twitter to refocus on his true industrial gem. ” Wake Up, Tesla Board of Directors! What is the plan ? Who is running Tesla and when is Elon coming back? tweeted investor Ross Gerber, while lamenting that Elon Musk “ destroyed more than $600 billion in valuation “without provoking a reaction from the board of directors, which he judges” unacceptable “.

More serious, the third investor of Tesla, KoGuan Leo, an accused Elon Musk this weekend of jumping ship and is calling for a new chief executive. ” Elon has abandoned Tesla and Tesla no longer has a boss in place. Tesla needs and deserves a full-time CEO “, did he declare.

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 the kind of Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, the final of the Football 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 manager of the fortune of Elon Musk. The objective: to raise, before the end of the year, several billion dollars issuing new shares of Twitter, which would be offered to investors for the sum of 54.20 dollars per share – the largely overvalued 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 brought by a Tesla investor, Musk declared his goal to ” reduce your time at Twitter and find someone else to run it sustainably “. But he might have to give up his seat sooner than he expected, and more importantly, long before he got Twitter back on track, which was his goal. Unless he ignores both the will of the “people” on Twitter and that of Tesla shareholders, in a final tour de force with unforeseeable consequences.