Elon Musk says he has found a new Twitter boss
May 11 (Reuters) – Elon Musk said on Thursday he has found a new CEO for Twitter without naming the person and that he will transition to the role of chief technology officer for the social media platform in the coming weeks.
“Excited to announce that I̵[ads1]7;ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She starts in ~6 weeks!,” Musk said in a tweet.
Musk has not previously named any potential candidates, and it was unclear who he had named as his successor, although Blind, an anonymous messaging app for tech workers, was ripe with speculation.
Former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and a senior executive at Musk’s brain-chip startup Neuralink, Shivon Zilis, were among the names discussed at Blind, according to a former employee who saw the comments.
Top female executives from Musk’s other companies, such as SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell and Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O ) Chairman Robyn Denholm may also be named, according to Jason Benowitz, senior portfolio manager at CI Roosevelt.
Musk said he will transition to the role of Twitter’s executive, along with the role of CTO, where he will oversee products, software and sysops.
Tesla shares closed 2.1% higher on Thursday and analysts said the announcement helped ease some investor concerns about Musk’s active engagement on Twitter.
The electric car maker’s shares had taken a hit after Musk took over Twitter in October and investors had said the move could stretch the billionaire thin.
“The anchor called Twitter has been lifted from Musk’s ankle. Now he can go back to spending more time creating value at Tesla,” said Craig Irwin, an analyst at Roth MKM.
In a Twitter poll started by Musk in December, 57.5% of users voted for him to step down as CEO of the social media platform.
“I will step down as CEO as soon as I find someone stupid enough to take the job!” Musk had said then.
The billionaire’s first two weeks as new Twitter owner in October were characterized by rapid changes. He quickly fired Twitter’s former CEO Parag Agrawal and other senior executives and laid off half of its staff in November.
Musk, a self-proclaimed free-speech fanatic, has said he took over Twitter to prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber for hate and division.
He also said he would “fight” spambots on the platform, a key area in his battle with Twitter’s board over his back-and-forth on the $44 billion acquisition of the company.
Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta
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