It comes after more than 57% of users voted in a public poll posted by Musk on Sunday night (18 December) asking if he should quit - and vowed to abide by the results.
Musk posted a cryptic tweet after the poll went live which hinted that he would be true to his word in stepping down. He wrote: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it”.
The result was confirmed on the following morning, with 57.5% of the more than 17.5 million accounts that voted saying he should withdraw from his role.
The billionaire did not post any tweets in the immediate hours following the poll but later broke his silence just before 11.30pm on Monday (20 December). He responded with the comment “Interesting” to a suggestion from Kim Dotcom, founder of the once wildly popular file-sharing website Megaupload, that the results of the poll were skewed by fake accounts.
He later replied to another user’s suggestion that “Blue subscribers should be the only ones that can vote in policy related polls”, Musk said: “Good point. Twitter will make that change.”
Musk went on to question the result, but confirmed in a tweet early on Wednesday morning (21 December) that he would relinquish his role as head of the social media platform once he finds a successor. He wrote: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams.”
A turbulent Twitter reign
The Tesla and SpaceX boss only took control of Twitter two months ago, but his short tenure has been turbulent.
Musk has overseen more than half of the company’s global workforce being laid off, he has loosened content moderation, prompting some high profile users like Sir Elton John to quit, and reinstated previously banned accounts, including Donald Trump’s, which some groups say has caused a spike in hateful and abusive content on the site.
He has also banned and then later reinstated some journalists for allegedly sharing real-time information of his location, citing doxxing as the reason, as well as introducing and then seemingly removing a policy banning users from tweeting links to certain other social media platforms.
Some online safety groups have accused the billionaire of allowing hate, abuse and misinformation to more easily circulate on the platform because of his free speech principles.
His reign has also seen a fumbled rollout of the Twitter Blue subscription service - which allows anyone to buy a blue tick verified badge for their account - as well as advertisers pausing spending with the firm over concerns about his “absolute free speech” approach.
The Twitter saga has begun to impact his other businesses, with Tesla share prices down since his social media takeover as the controversies affect confidence in Musk and his management style.