May 11 (Reuters) – Elon Musk said on Thursday he has found a new chief executive for Twitter and 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, although Blind, an anonymous messaging app for tech workers, has been ripe with speculation.
Former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, ex-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Shivonne Gillis, a top executive at Musk’ brain-chip startup Neuralink, were among the names discussed at Blind, 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 heavy involvement 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 building value at Tesla,” said Craig Irwin, analyst at Roth MKM.
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 free-speech libertarian, 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
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.