June 1, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Elon Musk says he has found a new Twitter CEO

May 11 (Reuters) – Elon Musk said on Thursday he had found a new CEO for Twitter, without naming the person, and would move to the social media platform’s chief technology officer within the next few weeks.

“Excited to announce I’ve been named the new CEO of X / Twitter. Starting in about 6 weeks!” Musk said in a tweet.

Musk hasn’t previously mentioned any potential candidates, and it’s not clear who he named as his successor, though speculation has been rife among tech and media insiders and on Blind, an anonymous messaging app for tech employees.

Linda Iaccarino, Comcast’s NBCUniversal ad sales executive (CMCSA.O), could be Musk’s pick to lead the social media company, said a Silicon Valley executive and former Hollywood executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the speculation.

Yaccarino, a pioneer in the prestige advertising industry, interviewed Musk at an advertising conference in Miami last month.

When asked for comment, an NBCUniversal spokesperson said, “Linda does back-to-back rehearsals for Upfront,” referring to the presentation NBCUniversal will be hosting for advertisers in New York on Monday.

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was suggested in conversations among Twitter employees Thursday, according to an employee.

Former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and a senior executive at Musk’s startup Neuralink, Shivon Zilis, were also among the names Twitter employees discussed Blind with, according to a former employee who saw the comments.

And according to Jason Benovitz, senior portfolio manager at C.I. Roosevelt, top female executives from Musk’s other companies, such as SpaceX President Gwen Shotwell and Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) CEO, can also be named.

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Musk said he will move into the role of CEO of Twitter, along with a chief technology role, where he will oversee products, software and operating systems.

Tesla shares closed up 2.1% Thursday and analysts said the announcement helped ease some investor concerns about Musk’s active involvement on Twitter.

Shares of the electric car maker took a hit after Musk acquired Twitter in October, and investors said the move could further weaken the billionaire.

“The boat anchor called Twitter has been loosened 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.

Step down

Musk has long said he intends to find a new leader for Twitter.

In a Twitter poll Musk launched in December, 57.5% of users voted for him to step down as CEO of the social media platform.

“I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone stupid enough to take the job!” Musk said then.

The first two weeks of the billionaire’s life as the new owner of Twitter in October were marked by rapid change. He quickly fired Parag Agrawal, the former CEO of Twitter, and other senior leaders, then laid off half of his staff in November.

Musk, a self-proclaimed advocate of absolute freedom of speech, said he took over Twitter to prevent the platform from becoming an echo chamber of hate and division.

He also said he would “beat” spam bots on the platform, a key area in his struggle with Twitter’s board of directors over the back and forth over the company’s $44 billion buyout.

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Additional reporting by Gopi Babu in Bengaluru; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.