Elon Musk has announced that he has hired a new CEO of Twitter who will begin her post in approximately six weeks, though he did not name the person taking over. Musk’s announcement brings much relief to his teams at Tesla and SpaceX who reportedly felt that his time was being split too much between the three giant companies, according to the BBC. Among those who have expressed gratitude for Musk’s handling of Twitter since he bought the company in October, there is some concern that the new CEO may not be a “free speech absolutist” like Musk.
Just after his announcement, Tesla shares rose 2% higher just before Wall Street closed on Thursday, Reuters reports, and went up an additional 1.6% in after-hours trade. According to Dan Ives from the investment firm Wedbush Securities, balancing Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter was “an impossible task that needed to change.” Ives called Musk’s move a “step forward” adding that Musk’s takeover of Twitter has made it a “nightmare” for his other companies.
Musk tweeted on Thursday that since he has hired a new CEO for Twitter, his role will “transition to being executive chair and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), overseeing the product and software of the social media platform.
News of the new hire is not a surprise. In December, just two months after Musk bought Twitter, he said that he would hire a new CEO once he found someone “foolish enough to take the job.” In response to a poll last year put out by Musk, Twitter users voted for him to step aside, but Musk expressed concerns that no one would want the job who can “actually keep Twitter alive.” News outlets are speculating who the possible CEO could be, and some have pointed to the possibility that it could be NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino.
Musk announced last month that since he took over the company, after purchasing it for $44 billion, he has “roughly” broken even. As CEO, he cleaned up much of what was plaguing the social media platform including the “bots” and firing thousands of staff to make the company run more efficiently and improve its finances by becoming more profitable. Despite concerns that a new CEO may not uphold the same values regarding free speech as Musk, Tesla and SpaceX are undoubtedly looking forward to getting back Musk’s full attention.