May 11 (Reuters) – Elon Musk said on Thursday he had found a new chief executive for Twitter, without naming the person who will become the social media platform’s chief technology officer in the next few weeks.
“I’m excited to announce that we’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. He’ll be starting in ~6 weeks!,” Musk said in a tweet.
Musk has not previously mentioned any potential candidates, and it is unclear who he has named as his successor, though speculation has been rife among tech and media insiders and Blind, an anonymous messaging app for tech workers.
Linda Yaccarino, a top ad sales executive at Comcast’s ( CMCSA.O ) NBCUniversal, could be Musk’s choice to lead the social media giant, a Silicon Valley executive and former Hollywood executive said.
Yaccarino, a respected advertising executive, interviewed Musk at an advertising conference in Miami last month.
When asked for comment, an NBCUniversal spokeswoman said, referring to a presentation NBCUniversal will hold for advertisers in New York on Monday, “Linda is back and forth in rehearsals.”
Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was nominated in conversations between Twitter employees on Thursday, an employee said.
Former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Shivonne Gillis, a top executive at Musk’s brain-chip startup Neuralink, were among the names discussed in the blind by Twitter employees, according to a former employee who saw the comments.
According to Jason Benowitz, senior portfolio manager at CI Roosevelt, other top female executives at Musk’s companies, such as SpaceX chief Quinn Shotwell and Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O ) chief Robin Denholm, could also be named.
Musk said he would also become Twitter’s executive chairman, with the role of CTO overseeing product, software and sysops.
Tesla shares closed 2.1% higher on Thursday and analysts said the announcement helped ease some investors’ concerns about Musk’s aggressive engagement on Twitter.
Shares of the electric vehicle maker took a hit after Musk took over Twitter in October, and investors said the move could stretch the billionaire thin.
“The boat anchor called Twitter has been loosened from Musk’s ankles. Now he can spend more time creating value at Tesla,” said Craig Irwin, analyst at Roth MKM.
Musk has long said he wants to find a new leader for Twitter.
In a Twitter poll Musk launched in December, 57.5% of users voted for him to step down as CEO of the social media platform.
“I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone stupid enough to take the job!” Musk had said then.
The billionaire’s first two weeks as the new Twitter owner in October were marked by rapid change. He quickly fired Twitter’s previous CEO, Barak Agarwal, and other senior leaders, and then laid off half the staff in November.
Musk, a self-proclaimed free speech activist, said he took over Twitter to prevent it from becoming an echo chamber of hate and division.
He also said he would “defeat” spam bots on the platform, a key part of his battle with Twitter’s board in the back-and-forth over its $44 billion purchase of the company.
Reporting by Juby Babu in Bangalore; Editing by Shaunak Dasgupta
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