Elon Musk Appoints New Twitter CEO, Set to Start in Six Weeks
On Thursday (May 11), Elon Musk revealed that he has selected a new CEO for Twitter, although he did not disclose the individual’s name. Musk himself will transition to the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the social media platform within the next few weeks.
In a tweet, Musk expressed his excitement about the new CEO, stating, “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!”
Speculation had been circulating among tech and media insiders, as well as on the anonymous messaging app Blind, regarding who Musk’s successor might be. An anonymous Silicon Valley executive and a former Hollywood executive suggested that Linda Yaccarino, the top advertising sales executive at Comcast’s NBCUniversal, could be Musk’s choice to lead the social media company. Yaccarino, a respected leader in the advertising industry, recently interviewed Musk at an advertising conference in Miami.
When approached for comment, an NBCUniversal spokesperson mentioned that Yaccarino was occupied with back-to-back rehearsals for the Upfront, referring to a presentation scheduled for Monday in New York, which NBCUniversal will host for advertisers.
During discussions among Twitter employees on Thursday, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was also mentioned as a potential candidate. Additionally, the former CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, and Shivon Zilis, a top executive at Musk’s brain-chip startup Neuralink, were among the names being discussed on the anonymous messaging app Blind, according to a former employee who viewed the comments.
Jason Benowitz, a senior portfolio manager at CI Roosevelt, suggested that top female executives from Musk’s other companies, such as Gwynne Shotwell, President of SpaceX, and Robyn Denholm, Chair of Tesla Inc., could also be considered for the position.
Musk clarified that he will assume the roles of Twitter’s Executive Chair and CTO, overseeing product development, software, and systems operations.
Following the announcement, Tesla shares closed 2.1% higher on Thursday. Analysts believed that the news helped ease investor concerns about Musk’s extensive involvement with Twitter. When Musk took over Twitter in October, Tesla’s stock suffered, and investors expressed worries that his attention would be divided.
“The boat anchor called Twitter is loosened from Mr. Musk’s ankle. Now he can get back to spending more time creating value at Tesla,” remarked Craig Irwin, an analyst at Roth MKM.
For a while now, Musk has been stating his intention to find a new leader for Twitter.
In December, Musk conducted a Twitter poll, where 57.5% of users voted for him to step down as CEO of the social media platform. At that time, Musk remarked, “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!”
Musk’s initial two weeks as the new Twitter owner in October were characterized by significant change. He quickly removed Twitter’s previous CEO Parag Agrawal and other senior leaders and later laid off half of the staff in November.
As a self-proclaimed free speech absolutist, Musk has stated that he took over Twitter to prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber of hate and division.
Additionally, Musk has expressed his commitment to “defeating” spam bots on the platform, which has been a significant point of contention between him and Twitter’s board regarding the $44 billion buyout of the company.
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