Majority of voters in Musk’s Twitter poll want him to step down as CEO

Twitter's owner Elon Musk is asking users of the social media platform to vote on his future as its chief executive. 

In a poll to his 122 million followers, he tweeted: "Should I step down as head… I will abide by the results". More than 17 million people voted in his poll and over 57% said yes to Musk stepping down.

The technology tycoon, who also runs Tesla and Space X, has faced much criticism since taking over Twitter.

He took control of the company in October in a USD 44 billion deal after a legal battle.

He posted the poll shortly after he was pictured at the World Cup final next to Jared Kushner, son-in-law and ex-special adviser to former US President Donald Trump.

In the past he has obeyed Twitter polls. He's fond of quoting the phrase "vox populi, vox dei", a Latin phrase which roughly means "the voice of the people is the voice of God".

Dan Ives, senior equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, told the BBC he believed the vote would "ultimately" lead to the "ending of Musk's reign as chief executive of Twitter".

There has been a flurry of controversial changes at Twitter since Musk bought the social media site.

He has fired about half of its staff and attempted a rollout of Twitter's paid-for verification feature before putting it on pause. The feature was relaunched last week.

He has also been criticised for his approach to content moderation, with some civil liberties groups accusing him of taking steps that will increase hate speech and misinformation.

On Friday, Musk was condemned by the United Nations and European Union over Twitter's decision to suspend some journalists who cover the social media firm.

The UN tweeted that media freedom is "not a toy", while the EU threatened Twitter with sanctions.

Ives said the last few weeks and months had been a "black eye for Musk and a black eye for Tesla" which he said was the "golden child" because it is where most of the billionaire's wealth is.

"Twitter right now – it's a quicksand situation and I think it's gotten worse since Musk took over Twitter. It's been a circus show," he added.

"I think ultimately in the next 24 hours Musk will probably name a new temporary CEO of Twitter."

After starting the poll, Mr Musk tweeted: "As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it."

He added later: "Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it."

Ives said he believed Musk had realised he "cannot balance" being the boss of Twitter as well as his electric car company Tesla and space rocket firm SpaceX.

"The biggest problem is the more controversy he creates, advertisers leave and they run for the hills and that's 90% of revenue for Twitter," he added.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said investors at Tesla would be "closely watching" Mr Musk's poll.

"Given how much of a distraction Musk's tenure at Twitter has become, shareholders in the electric vehicle manufacturer will be breathing a big sigh of relief if he steps back from Twitter and gets back to the day job at Tesla," he said.

"For someone who sets so much store by work ethic, Musk sure seems to spend a lot of time on social media. With Tesla shares having more than halved year-to-date, Musk needs to roll up his sleeves and get his main business back on the road."

Musk's electric car firm has fallen sharply in value, with some saying his obsession with Twitter is destroying the brand.

He received the backing of several investors to help get his purchase of the site over the line.