Elon Musk said on Thursday that Twitter has hired a new CEO and that he will move on to product and technology roles.
Musk said via Twitter that a new CEO, who has not been named, would take over in about six weeks. CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, citing sources, reported that Linda Yacarino, president of NBCUniversal Global Advertising, was in early discussions for the role.
He said he would transition to “CEO and CTO overseeing product, software and systems operations”.
Tesla Shares rose more than 2%, a sign that investors were pleased with the move.
Many Tesla investors feared that Musk was too busy running Twitter to devote his time to running the electric car company of which he is also CEO. In April, several progressive Tesla shareholders publicly urged Tesla’s board to give Musk more time at the helm of the automaker.
Musk, who is also the CEO of reusable rocket maker SpaceX, completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October and immediately rose to fame there. He fired the company’s top management and laid off hundreds of employees.
Under his leadership, Twitter’s core advertising business suffered. Several advocacy groups have documented that the rise of offensive comments and hate speech on social messaging services has caused many companies to drop their paid advertising campaigns. However, potential new CEO Yacarino is a well-connected and experienced operator in the advertising world and could help Twitter strengthen its advertising business.
Musk attempted to make up for the shortfall in advertising revenue with Twitter Blue, a new subscription service that offers features such as the ability to write longer tweets. In April, the company opened the door to potential scammers by removing so-called “legacy” blue checkmarks from identified free users. Government accounts and some corporate accounts still retain their authentication via separate silver and gold icon sets.
He also stirred political controversy with comments such as bringing previously banned users back on the platform and calling the media racist towards whites and Asians.
Twitter suffered a number of technical glitches and disruptions during Musk’s tenure as CEO, some of which coincided with mass layoffs he claimed were necessary for the company’s financial health.
Earlier this week, right-wing TV talk show host Tucker Carlson announced he would host a new show on the platform after being fired by his previous employer.