Elon Musk said Thursday that Twitter is getting a new CEO and that he will move to a product and technical role. 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 & sysops.” Tesla shares jumped more than 2%, in a sign that investors were pleased about the move. 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 rocket 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. Under his leadership, Twitter’s core advertising business has suffered. Multiple companies halted their paid promotional campaigns as the social messaging service saw an increase in offensive speech and hateful rhetoric, several advocacy groups have documented. Musk has tried to make up for the shortfall with a new subscription service, Twitter Blue, which offers features such as the ability to compose longer tweets. In April, the company removed so-called “legacy” blue checkmarks from non-paying users whose identities had been verified, opening the door to potential impostors. Government accounts and some corporate accounts will still maintain verification through a separate set of icons, in silver and gold, respectively.
He has also allowed previously banned users back on the platform and courted political controversy with statements such as saying that the media is racist against white and Asian people. Twitter has also weathered several technical errors and outages during Musk’s tenure as CEO, some of which coincided with massive layoffs, which he pitched as necessary for the financial health of the company. Earlier this week, right-wing TV talk show host Tucker Carlson announced he would be hosting a new show on the platform after being fired by his previous employer, Fox News.