Musk to step down as Twitter CEO once he finds 'someone foolish' enough as successor

Dec 21 (Reuters) - Billionaire Elon Musk said on Tuesday he will step down as chief executive of Twitter Inc once he finds a replacement, but will still run some key divisions of the social media platform.

"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," Musk wrote on Twitter.

Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) shares, which have lost about 60% of their value since Musk made the offer for Twitter back in April, rose about 1% on Wednesday.

Musk's $44 billion takeover of Twitter in October has been marked by chaos and controversy, with some investors questioning if he is too distracted to also properly run his electric-vehicle automaker Tesla, in which he is personally involved in production and engineering.

This is the first time Musk has mentioned stepping down as chief of the social media platform, after Twitter users voted for him to resign in a poll, which the billionaire launched on Sunday evening.

Reuters Graphics

In the poll, 57.5% of around 17.5 million people voted "yes." Musk had said on Sunday he would abide by the results. He has not provided a time frame for when he will step down and no successor has been named.

The poll results capped a whirlwind week that included changes to Twitter's privacy policy and the suspension - and reinstatement - of journalists' accounts that drew condemnation from news organizations, advocacy groups and officials across Europe.

In a Twitter Spaces audio chat on Wednesday, Musk said Twitter was on track to be "roughly cash flow break-even" next year.

Musk attributed the projection to cost-cutting measures he has undertaken at the social media platform recently.

Wall Street calls for Musk to step down had been growing for weeks and recently even Tesla bulls have questioned his focus on the social media platform and how it might distract him from running the EV maker.

Musk has himself said he had too much on his plate, and that he would look for a Twitter CEO. He said on Sunday, though, that there was no successor and that "no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive."

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu and Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Yuvraj Malik; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree, Christopher Cushing and Shounak Dasgupta

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