Elon Musk says he has hired a new Twitter chief executive who will begin leading the social media platform in six weeks’ time.
The billionaire has been Twitter chief executive since his $44bn acquisition of the company in October, but always signalled it would be temporary. Musk wrote on Twitter on Thursday: “Excited to announce that I’ve hired a new CEO for X/Twitter. She will be starting in ~6 weeks!”.
He added he would move to being executive chair and chief technology officer, “overseeing product, software and sysops [systems operations]”. He did not name the person he intends to appoint as chief executive.
The announcement comes as shareholders of Tesla, the electric-car maker that Musk also runs, have increasingly put pressure on him to return his focus to that company, whose shares have fallen 30 per cent over the past year. Tesla’s stock jumped about 2 per cent on the news.
Twitter investors and bankers have also been keen for Musk to select new management as soon as possible, according to people familiar with the matter.
Musk in December said he would resign as Twitter’s chief executive as soon as he has found someone “foolish enough to take the job”, after polling users over whether he should quit the role. The poll drew 17.5mn votes, with 57.5 per cent calling for him to step aside.
His six months at the helm of Twitter have been marked by a significant shake-up, in which he reduced its headcount by about 90 per cent and relaxed content moderation. The moves alienated some high-profile users and advertisers, hitting the social media platform’s revenue.
However, Musk in March said Twitter’s finances were improving following his cost-cutting efforts, to the point that the company could return to posting positive cash flow next quarter. He announced several new features in recent weeks, including encrypted messaging.