Elon Musk Says He’s Stepping Down As Twitter CEO

Elon Musk said Thursday that Twitter is getting a new CEO and that he will move to a product and technical role, CNBC reported. Musk said via Twitter that the new CEO, an unnamed woman, would start in about six weeks. He added that he would transition “to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & syops.”

According to CNBC, several Tesla investors were concerned that Musk was too distracted by running Twitter and that he should redirect his time to steering the electric vehicle company, where he is also CEO. In April, a host of progressive Tesla shareholders publicly urged Tesla’s board to ensure that Musk would dedicate more time to the automobile company.

Musk, who is also CEO of the reusable rocker maker SpaceX, completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October and made his mark there immediately. He fired the company’s top executives and laid off hundreds of employees.

The Wall Street Journal reported that NBCUniversal Head of Advertising Linda Yaccarino is “in talks” for the position of CEO. Ms. Yaccarino, chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCU, has been with NBCU for more than a decade, where she has been an industry advocate for finding better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising.

TechCrunch reported that Musk did not specify who will be taking on the role as CEO of Twitter. According to TechCrunch, Musk previously said he planned to step down as CEO and appoint a new chief executive before the end of 2023, noting that he would honor the results of a poll asking whether he should remain in charge of the company. However, he has previously not named any prospective candidates.

In his time as CEO, TechCrunch wrote, Musk has significantly overhauled Twitter’s policies and features, which has led to several advertisers pausing spending on the social network. Must rolled out a revamped, pricier Twitter Blue subscription that allows users to buy verification and recently got rid of old “legacy” verified checkmarks. The platform has also disbanded its Trust and Safety council and reinstated accounts of previously banned users, including former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The next CEO of Twitter is likely to be a familiar face for advertisers, The Hollywood Reporter stated. NBCUniversal’s head of advertising sales, Linda Yaccarino, is in talks for the CEO role at the social media company which is now owned by Elon Musk.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Yaccarino interviewed Musk at an advertising event three weeks ago, and last week NBCUniversal announced a new content deal with Twitter that will see the social site hosting 2024 Paris Olympics content, including an exclusive live show. A veteran ad executive, Yaccarino has led NBCU’s advertising business for the last decade, and before that spent nearly 20 years at the former Turner cable channels as an ad executive.

The Hill reported that on December 20, 2022, Elon Musk tweeted: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job after that, I will just run the software & server teams.”

It is unclear to me if this change of CEO will work out. Personally, if I were in a position that required me to hire a new CEO, I wouldn’t publicly suggest in a tweet that the new person was “foolish enough to take the job.” I have concerns that this new CEO will push a whole lot of ads into people’s Twitter accounts.