Tesla Inc. shares jumped then retreated in anticipation of Elon Musk potentially stepping back from Twitter Inc., the social media company that has distracted him from running the electric-car maker for months.
Tesla’s stock rose as much as 5 percent at the start of premarket trading Monday, but had fallen 1 percent by 11 a.m. EST. The shares have plunged 58 percent since Musk disclosed in early April that he’d taken a stake in Twitter, underperforming the 15 percent drop in the S&P 500 Index.
Musk, 51, tweeted Sunday that he would abide by the results of a poll asking whether he should step down as head of Twitter.
As of 6:30 a.m. EST, about 57.5 percent of votes voted yes with more than 17.5 million votes cast. The Tesla CEO has previously taken his cues from Twitter users on decisions ranging from whether he should trim his stake in the car company, to whether he should reinstate former president Donald Trump’s account.
Whereas Musk’s next steps after those polls were relatively straightforward, it’s less clear what he’ll do if Twitter users vote for him to step down. Musk has tweeted that it will be difficult to find another CEO and written that the company “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May.”
“No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive,” he said in another post. “There is no successor.”