Elon Musk says he has found a new CEO for Twitter

12 May 2023

Elon Musk. Image: Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Musk said he will become executive chair and CTO of the company, while it is reported that Linda Yaccarino has been in talks for the CEO position.

A new mystery CEO has been found for Twitter and she will be starting in roughly six weeks, according to chief twit Elon Musk.

Musk said in a tweet that he will transition to executive chair and CTO, where he will oversee “product, software and sysops”.

He has not revealed the identity of his replacement CEO for Twitter. But sources told the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that Linda Yaccarino – NBCUniversal’s head of advertising – has been in advanced talks with Musk for the position.

Musk publicly said that he would step down as CEO in December, after he asked users to vote if he should step down as the company’s head. In a follow-up tweet to the vote, Musk said he would step down when he finds “someone foolish enough to take the job”.

But Musk appeared to be planning this decision before the public vote. Last November, the billionaire told a Delaware judge that he planned to find somebody else to run Twitter “over time”.

A different type of Twitter

The new CEO will be leading a very different company to the one Musk bought last year for $44bn. A lot has changed internally in a short timeframe, with multiple waves of job cuts and resigngations reducing its workforce.

There are estimates that roughly 1,000 employees remain at Twitter, compared to the 7,500 before Musk took over.

Musk also made Twitter private, which means he no longer has to disclose the company’s corporate information.

The social media platform has had a chaotic period, as Musk has sought to change key functions of the site such as its verification system, changing the old version with a new monthly payment for the famous blue tick.

But the journey to create this new system has not been simple. The first iteration of the new Twitter Blue led to a wave of impersonation accounts on the platform, which delayed Musk’s plans.

More confusion occurred in recent weeks as accounts of dead celebrities became verified, while others received the blue tick and claimed they never paid for it.

Musk’s Twitter takeover also caused a panic among advertisers, due to concerns that his “free speech absolutism” would impact the platform. There were reports last year that companies such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Audi and Pfizer had paused advertising on Twitter.

In March, Musk said the company’s ad revenue had dropped by roughly 50pc and had been on the path to bankruptcy, The New York Times reports.

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Elon Musk. Image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic