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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Who could possibly be the CEO of Twitter if Elon Musk steps down

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The next is a free preview from final week’s Command Line, my new weekly newsletter in regards to the tech business’s inside dialog:

Elon Musk has stated he’ll discover a new CEO for Twitter after customers voted for him to leave. However who would, in his own words, be “silly sufficient to take the job”?

It’s a query I’ve been posing in conversations over the previous week. Based mostly on my checks with individuals who would know, Musk doesn’t seem like working a proper search but. And given his propensity to lie return on his phrase, he won’t attempt to discover somebody. The matter is difficult by his saying that, even after discovering a CEO, he’ll nonetheless run the “software program & servers groups.” That’s mainly the entire firm.

For what it’s value, I do assume Musk will finally discover a CEO, not solely as a result of he advised his Twitter traders he would however as a result of it’s the rational factor for him to do. Beneath are the names which were floated to me pretty much as good candidates ought to Musk truly hand over the reins of Twitter. (I’m not together with the plain members of Musk’s transition workforce that helped him within the early days of the takeover — particularly David Sacks, Jason Calacanis, and Sriram Krishnan — since my learn is that they don’t seem to be ready to take the job if requested.)

Sheryl Sandberg, ex-Meta COO

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Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Pictures

Professionals: This choose is maybe the obvious alternative, particularly if Musk does what he says and continues to guide engineering at Twitter after naming a brand new CEO. Sandberg has the rep with advertisers and connections that Musk wants to start repairing Twitter’s spiraling business. And she or he’s a free agent after leaving Meta final 12 months.

Cons: Musk isn’t any fan of Fb, and I don’t assume they’d get alongside. Sandberg additionally appears glad specializing in her philanthropy and household life as of late.

Emmett Shear, co-founder and CEO of Twitch

TED2019: Bigger Than Us

Picture by Lawrence Sumulong/Getty Pictures

Professionals: Whereas Shear wasn’t on my shortlist of potential names till I began asking round, I’m coming round to the concept. Because the co-founder and present head of Twitch, he has efficiently bought a social media firm to a tech large and has the expertise Musk wants for his plan to show Twitter into extra of a video platform for creators. Plus, I’ve been listening to that the Twitch org is in disarray as of late.

Cons: He hasn’t led a public firm, and Musk plans to deliver Twitter again out to the general public markets in a number of years. And Twitch has been unable to efficiently increase outdoors of its predominant area of interest of gamer livestreams.

Vanessa Pappas, TikTok COO

TikTok House Party at VidCon 2022

Picture by Vivien Killilea/Getty Pictures for TikTok

Professionals: She has the expertise Musk wants, having first helped arise YouTube’s early creator program and extra just lately because the COO of TikTok. I’ve additionally heard whispers that she could also be planning an exit from TikTok / ByteDance someday this 12 months.

Con: If Musk is especially on the lookout for somebody that the massive advertisers know to guide Twitter, she wouldn’t be the best choice since her focus has primarily been on product and creators.

Jim Lanzone, CEO of Yahoo

The 2022 MAKERS Conference - Day One

Picture by Emma McIntyre/Getty Pictures for The MAKERS Convention

Professionals: Lanzone’s background is extra in media and promoting, apart from his transient stint as CEO of Tinder. He’s now main Yahoo however could leap for the proper alternative. He has the connections with the promoting group and operations expertise that Musk might use and the structure to take care of Musk’s antics.

Con: Unclear if he would need to work for Musk and tackle the headache that’s Twitter proper now.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder

2019 New York Times Dealbook

Picture by Mike Cohen/Getty Pictures for The New York Occasions

Professionals: By way of pedigree and product chops, the Instagram co-founder and former CEO is unquestionably a prime choose. He has been quiet since he left Instagram / Fb in 2018 after clashing with Mark Zuckerberg, although he confirmed his curiosity within the TikTok mannequin of social media — disentangling in-feed suggestions from somebody’s social graph — on Lex Fridman’s podcast last year. That’s precisely what Musk desires Twitter to deal with, too.

Cons: He has already labored for an opinionated founder / CEO, made some huge cash, and certain doesn’t need to do all of it once more. Additionally doesn’t have the diploma of clout with the promoting group that Musk might be on the lookout for.

Honorable mentions floated to me: Adam Bain, Susan Wojcicki, Sarah Friar, Kayvon Beykpour, and Kevin Weil. Am I lacking anybody else? Let me know…

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