KUALA LUMPUR, June 27:
Perhaps one of the most socially-engaged Malaysian CEO on the Internet, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes surprised many of his followers today when they could no longer find him on the social networking site Twitter.
Famous for engaging with his supporters as well as critiques via his official Twitter account @tonyfernandes, a check on the site found that the account was no longer in existence.
This was after Fernandes had tweeted, “I will be closing down my Twitter account today. As I said wait till QPR get promoted and I reach 50. I may restart dedicated accounts,” alluding to his English Premier League team the Queens Park Rangers.
QPR recently earned a promotion back to the Premier League after beating Derby 1-0 in the League Championship playoff final thanks to a last-minute goal by Bobby Zamora.
When asked by The Rakyat Post via Whatsapp, Fernandes was brief about his decision, echoing what he had said on his Twitter account.
On whether he would miss the social media platform, Fernandes said, “Yeah I will, but I am frustrated on certain issues with it.”
“I will still have a voice, despite closing the account,” he added.
The Rakyat Post also posed a question to him if he would ever make a comeback to Twitter, in which Fernandes said, “I doubt it, been there done that. Very tired of certain things.”
While his exit was not short of theatrics, it still took some by surprise.
Twitter user Zaid Mohamad via the account @sgt_kickass said, “So… Tony Fernandes tutup akaun twitter dia? Tak boleh la nak dapat birthday wish from dia lagi :(” (So, Tony Fernandes closed his Twitter account? No more birthday wishes from him then.)
Before deleting his account, Fernandes also wrote “Goodbye all. Maybe I return. Been fun. And damm useful. Speak the truth be brave.”
He also said, “Will try out instagram. To all my staff love you all. AirAsia is amazing company, Tune Group the future. Love what we doing in Qpr.”
Just before he left, he posted a photo of himself and business partner Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun in what the former labelled as his last tweet.
Many on Twitter began sharing their feelings with most feeling upset that the CEO had opted to leave Twitter.
Twitter user @saladinMY wrote, “Tony Fernandes has deactivated his Twitter account. Twitterjaya lost a CEO’s voice.”
Another user @SurfingPunter said, “Never took you as a quitter Tony, why you leaving?”
As for @smiffy2108, the Twitter user said, “So @tonyfernandes is leaving twitter! It’s been good to have an open engaging chairman with fans. Maybe see you back here someday!!!”
Meanwhile, on Instagram, Fernandes made his first post-Twitter upload and it was also a photo of Kamaruddin.
The caption read, “My first post Twitter Instagram. My brother and partner.”