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Musk says he ain't going anywhere as Twitter CEO until at least late 2023

Ignoring poll results is the new craze for some. At least that's daily entertainment guaranteed now

Video Sorry, Tesla investors who want him back on the job: Elon Musk said he thinks it's going to take until the end of 2023 to stabilize Twitter to the point where he can appoint someone else as CEO.

"Twitter is quite the rollercoaster," Musk told the World Government Summit in Dubai Wednesday. The Twitter CEO, who also helms SpaceX and Tesla, said that he wants to stay on at Twitter to stabilize the company and get it into a financially healthy place before stepping down, which he said likely won't happen until "toward the end of [2023]." You can see the whole interview below.

Youtube Video

Musk's $44b purchase of Twitter closed in October, and the world's former richest person said in November that he never planned to remain in charge, before polling users the next month to ask if he should step down. 

The users voted yes, and Musk said he'd step down "as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!"

Bloomberg said Twitter started a CEO search in December, citing people familiar with the matter, though nothing is known about the results of that quest. Musk side-stepped questions of whether a new CEO had been found during his interview at the summit.

"Over time, [Twitter] will head into a good direction," Musk claimed, but no details were offered to support that supposition. 

Will Twitter last until then?

Twitter's path to stability, unfortunately, runs right through Elon Musk, who as we've detailed extensively in recent months, shaken up the biz, often not in a good way. Early chaos lead to an exodus of advertisers, despite Musk's claims he was trying to make the platform profitable, and since then the business has been going through snafu after snafu.

Twitter banned third-party apps last month while updating its terms of use. That move turned out to be an attempt to drive developers toward paying for API access, which the biz has walked back - twice - while saying it will improve the feature after "immense enthusiasm." 

The company is also being sued by several of its landlords for allegedly not paying rent, and today it came out that the social media outfit is cutting its Salesforce contract from $20m to $5m.

Last week, cracks appeared in Twitter's facade as users reported posting failures and other glitches in the platform during a less-than-successful data center migration. 

And then there was Musk's reported unhappiness with having less engagement on Twitter than US President Joe Biden during the Superbowl at the weekend. Musk tried tweeting his support for the Philadelphia Eagles but deleted his missive after the birds lost to the Kansas City Chiefs – and Biden's tweet about the game had racked up millions more views.

Reportedly upon pain of termination, engineers changed Twitter's algorithms to brute-force Musk's tweets to be more visible to tweeters, thus artificially boosting his view counts.

Musk said during his Dubai speech that his goal for Twitter was to create a "maximally trusted digital public square" that will serve as the backbone for his long-sought "everything app," as well as being an "identity level of the internet" via "better verification and organizational affiliation" features. 

The old system of verification, which actually required users to prove who they were with more than their wallets, is due to be phased out soon, Musk said. The feature, which ostensibly gave Twitter the trust it had in the first place, was described by Musk as "truly corrupt" in a tweet last week.

Like many of the timelines Elon issues, take that one with a grain of salt, too. ®

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