Elon Musk said he will step down from the top job at Twitter and become its executive chair and chief technology officer. The social network’s billionaire owner said a new chief executive officer, whom he didn’t name but indicated is a woman, will start in about six weeks.
Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last October and indicated that he’d only be in charge for a limited time to complete the organizational overhaul he thought the company needed to prosper. Musk complained of having “too much work” and sleeping at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters while implementing radical changes.
In December, Musk asked his Twitter followers if he should step down as CEO, and 57.5% said yes.
Musk, who’s also CEO of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has drawn criticism for his abrupt policy changes and neglect of his other businesses. The next CEO will have to deal with an advertiser exodus. Despite a slight uptick in daily users since early 2022, Twitter’s revenue has fallen by 50% since October as a result of a “massive decline” in advertising, Musk said in March.
He’s also changed the corporate name of Twitter’s parent to X Holdings, an entity which could eventually be the parent for all his businesses — an idea he has publicly mused about. Musk has also said he wants to build Twitter beyond social media and into an “everything app,” including financial services.
The company’s Twitter Blue subscription service plan has also been flailing, drawing less than 1% of the user base. Musk has cut thousands of jobs, scaled back the company’s content moderation and allowed accounts previously banned for breaking rules to return.
When Musk was first starting at Twitter, he brought a roster of longtime loyal partners to help him temporarily, from across his disparate businesses. Several of these other companies have female executives in their top ranks, though it’s unclear whether he plans to pick someone he already works with to run the social network.
Some top executives with ties to Musk, or whom pundits speculate might be on the list, include:
—At Twitter, Ella Irwin handles trust and safety.
—Robyn Denholm is the chair of Tesla’s board of directors.
—Gwynne Shotwell is SpaceX’s President and COO and also serves on SpaceX’s board.
—Linda Yaccarino, who leads ads and partnerships for NBCUniversal, interviewed Musk last month at a major advertising conference in Miami. Recently, Twitter and NBCU expanded their Olympic Games partnership. Some have speculated she is the pick on Twitter.