Elon Musk announces new CEO for Twitter and transition to CTO role

Elon Musk image via Wikipedia

Elon Musk revealed yesterday that he has appointed a new CEO for Twitter, though he did not disclose the individual’s identity. He also stated that he will assume the position of Chief Technology Officer for the social media platform within the next few weeks. “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in approximately six weeks!” Musk shared via tweet.

The identity of the incoming CEO remains a mystery, as Musk has refrained from naming any potential candidates. However, speculation has been rife on Blind, an anonymous messaging app for tech workers. Names being discussed on the platform include former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, as well as top Neuralink executive Shivon Zilis, which is another of Musk’s companies.

According to Jason Benowitz, Senior Portfolio Manager at CI Roosevelt, other possible candidates are top female executives from Musk’s other firms, such as SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell and Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm.

In the future, Musk will fill the role of Twitter’s executive chair in addition to the CTO role, where he will oversee products, software, and sysops. Tesla shares closed 2.1% higher on the same day as the announcement, which helped to alleviate investor concerns regarding Musk’s ongoing involvement with Twitter.

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Tesla’s stock had previously experienced a dip after Musk took over Twitter in October, as investors worried that the move might stretch the billionaire’s resources. “The boat anchor called Twitter is loosened from Musk’s ankle. Now he can get back to spending more time creating value at Tesla,” commented Craig Irwin, an analyst at Roth MKM.

In a Twitter poll launched by Musk in December, 57.5% of users voted for him to step down as CEO of the social media site. In response, Musk stated that he would resign as soon as someone else was willing to take the position.

Musk’s initial fortnight as Twitter’s owner in October saw significant change. He promptly dismissed the previous CEO, Parag Agrawal, as well as other senior leaders, and proceeded to lay off 50% of the company’s workforce in November. Musk, who identifies himself as a free speech absolutist, has claimed that he took control of Twitter to prevent it from becoming an echo chamber for hate and division. His commitment to “defeat” spam bots has also been a focal point in Musk’s disagreements with Twitter’s board regarding the US$44 billion buyout of the business, reports Channel News Asia.

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