Here’s a preview of last week’s free preview Command Line, my new weekly newsletterThe inside conversation in the tech sector:
Elon Musk stated that he would search for a new CEO to lead Twitter after users demanded it. They voted him to leave. But who would do that anyway? his wordsAre you “foolish enough” to accept the job?
It’s a question that I’ve been asking in conversation for the past week. It doesn’t seem like Musk is conducting an official search, based on my conversations with people who know. Given his propensity for.
to lieHe may not be trying hard to find someone, but he could be lying to you. It gets complicated when you consider the fact that even after finding a CEO he will still be running the “software- and server teams.” This is basically the whole company.
For what it’s really worth, I believe Musk will eventually find a chief executive officer. Not because he promised his investors via Twitter, but because it’s the right thing for him. Here are the names I consider good candidates that Musk should give the Twitter reins to. (I don’t include the obvious members of Musk’s transition team who helped him in the early days of the takeover — namely David Sachs, Jason Calacannies, and Sriram Krishnan — since my reading says they are not in a position to take up the job if asked).
Sheryl Sandberg, formerly Meta’s COO
Positives:This is the obvious choice, especially if Musk follows through on his promises and continues to lead engineering at Twitter even after naming a new CEO. Sandberg has the connections and the contacts to get started. Fix Twitter’s spiraling business. After leaving Meta last summer, she is now a free agency.
cons:Musk isn’t a fan Facebook, and I doubt they’d agree. Sandberg seems happy to concentrate on her philanthropy, family life, and work these days.
Emmett Sher Co-Founder and CEO at Twitch
Positives:Shear wasn’t on my list of potential candidates until I started asking. But, I’m starting to get the idea. He is the co-founder and president of Twitch and has the expertise Musk requires to make Twitter a more powerful platform for creators. I also heard that Twitch has been in a bit a mess lately.
cons:Musk did not manage a public company and plans to return Twitter to public markets within the next few years. Twitch has not been able expand beyond its core stream for live gamer streaming.
Vanessa Pappas, TikTok COO
Positives:She is an expert in Musk’s field, having served as the YouTube Early Creators Program’s spokesperson and most recently as TikTok’s COO. There are rumors that she might be leaving TikTok/ByteDance this year.
Deceive:Musk may not be the best choice if she is looking for someone to lead Twitter. She is focused on creators and product.
Jim Lanzon, CEO, Yahoo
Positives:Lanzone’s background lies in media and advertising. This is aside from his brief stint at Tinder’s CEO. He is now the Yahoo CEO, but he may jump at the chance. He has contacts within the advertising community as well as expertise on processes that Musk can use to deal effectively with Musk’s antics.
Deceive:It’s not clear if Musk would like to work for him and deal with the Twitter headaches right now.
Kevin Systrom, cofounder of Instagram
Positives:The co-founder and former CEO at Instagram is a top pick in terms of product and lineage. He’s been quiet since leaving Instagram/Facebook in 2018 following his clash with Mark Zuckerberg, though he’s shown his interest in the social media model TikTok — untangling nutrition recommendations from someone’s social graph — on Lex Fridman’s podcast last year. Musk wants Twitter to be focused on exactly this.
cons:He has worked before for an opinionated founder/CEO and made a lot of cash. It also lacks the leverage that Musk would like with the ad community.
Honorable Mention: Susan Wojcicki and Adam Payne; Kevon Bikpour and Kevin Weil. Do I have to miss anyone? Let me know…
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