Elon Musk Says He Has Found a New CEO for Twitter

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Elon Musk announced on Thursday that he had found someone to take over as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Twitter.

Musk will continue to own the social media company and will play a technical role in the platform, but someone else will lead the day-to-day management of the company.

“Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks! My role will transition to being exec chair & [Chief Technology Officer], overseeing product, software & [system operators],” Musk posted on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

Musk provided no additional details about the future of the social media platform.

The leadership shake-up comes about seven months after Musk took over ownership of the platform in October of last year.

The move was not altogether unexpected. Musk had posted in December that he would resign as CEO of the platform as soon as he could find a suitable replacement.

Tesla Stock Jumps at Announcement

Twitter is just one of several major companies Musk owns. The billionaire entrepreneur also leads the private space company SpaceX and the electric car company Tesla.

Tesla’s stock value fell by about 65 percent or about $700 billion over the course of 2022, as Musk went through months of negotiations with Twitter before finalizing the buyout. Some Tesla investors had blamed the Twitter deal for the collapse in Tesla stock prices and claimed Musk had become too distracted with acquiring and revamping the social media platform.

The electric car company’s stock prices jumped around the same time Musk announced his timeline for the new Twitter CEO to take over. This jump may be a sign of renewed confidence for Tesla investors.

Musk’s Tenure as Twitter CEO

Musk’s Twitter takeover marked a significant shake-up for the company.

Within weeks of the $44 billion buyout, Musk moved forward with significant job cuts. As of last month, Musk had cut about 6,500 employees, or around 80 percent of the company staff. Twitter now employs around 1,500 people.

Musk also took the major step of reinstating numerous accounts banned under Twitter’s previous owners, including that of former President Donald Trump. This effort coincided with the release of numerous internal communications to journalists in a series of exposés known as the “Twitter Files.” These exposés showcased how Twitter employees coordinated with political campaigns and government officials to flag and remove content and suspend user accounts. Entire segments of these “Twitter Files” also focused on the company’s internal deliberations and efforts to justify removing Trump.

The Twitter Files exposés also confirmed a long-rumored practice of discretely constraining Twitter users in what the company referred to as “visibility filtering” but which critics often called “shadow banning.”

Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter has continued to reexamine its content moderation methods, including last month when Twitter revised its “hateful conduct” guidelines, removing a policy that classified the intentional “misgendering” or “deadnaming” of transgender individuals as violent speech.

Musk’s shake-up of the company at times led to criticisms and allegations that the social media platform was becoming a venue for hateful content. BBC reporter James Clayton made such assertions in an interview with Musk. After Clayton failed to provide any specific examples for this assertion, Musk responded, “That’s false. That’s a lie.”

Musk also reshuffled the deck on organizations and individual users who have had significant clout on the social media platform.

Prior to his takeover, Twitter had awarded blue verification checks to a limited number of users, with the criterion that they had to be “active, notable, and authentic.” Some had complained that this criterion, especially the notability factor, could feel arbitrary. Musk phased out Twitter’s original blue verification check and replaced it with a subscription system that allows users to pay for verification.

Twitter’s Future

In his announcement on Thursday, Musk notably referred to the social media platform as X/Twitter. Musk has repeatedly described a new X app and suggested his Twitter acquisition would serve as a springboard for this new app.

While Twitter began as a microblogging site where users shared their thoughts and provided updates about personal events or developing news stories, Musk has suggested that Twitter could eventually provide a far broader set of features. Musk has repeatedly compared his plans for Twitter to the Chinese app WeChat, which allows for text messaging, voice messaging, broadcasting, video conferencing, mobile gaming, and mobile payments.

“WeChat has a lot of functionality that Twitter should have,” Musk said in a December Twitter Spaces session. He said he wants to make it easier to process payments through the Twitter app and to have the app support long-form written and video content—“and to be able to monetize that easily.”

In recent weeks, Musk has also suggested Twitter as a viable video platform for digital content creators. He suggested Fox News host Tucker Carlson and CNN host Don Lemon could launch their own independent programs through Twitter after they parted ways with their respective networks. Carlson is already moving forward with that very idea.

Musk has already taken some steps toward realizing his “X” app idea. Earlier this month, a court filing (pdf) from a lawsuit brought by conservative political commentator Laura Loomer indicated that Twitter Inc. had reorganized as X Corp, which itself is a subsidiary of X Holdings Corp.

It remains to be seen how this “X” brand will expand after Musk steps down as CEO of Twitter.

From NTD News

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